Posture and Pain (Part 1)

Defining “bad” posture is tricky. What really constitutes as “bad” might be different from person to person. However, there are some general guidelines that the majority of people can benefit from. 


First, if you sit at a desk, staring at a computer or phone most of the day, you may have  forward rounded posture. This presents as the shoulders being dumped forwards, a rounded upper back, and a forward head posture. A couple problems might manifest from this posture. You may experience tight pectoralis muscles, tight anterior structures on the shoulder itself (biceps tendon, deltoid, coracoacromial ligament, trapezoid ligament, transverse humeral ligament), weak posterior structures on the shoulder and scapula complex (rotator cuff, rhomboids, serratus), and tight and overworked posterior neck muscles (upper trap, levator scapulae, splenius capitis/cervicis).

All these tight structures can result in pain and poor movement patterns that may bother you in your daily life. When muscles are tight and not functioning properly, they tend to put tension and stress on the joint itself which can create shoulder pain. You may experience an achey, dull pain that gradually increases as time passes. You may also feel a more sharp, shooting pain if the tight structures are compressing a nerve. 


The good news is, the problem is correctable and we can get you back to 100% with some targeted manual therapy followed by specific rehab exercises. Manual therapy will release the tight structures to restore the normal movement patterns and allow the joint move in the way that it was designed to. Once we open up the tissue and restore the movement, we will begin adding in specific rehabilitative exercises. This will strengthen the tissues in that new range and reinforce the patterns which is ultimately the long term solution to fixing posture pains!

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will have the rehabilitation exercises you can try on your own!


– Nicole Jaffke


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Nicole Jaffke