Shoulder SOS: 6 Bad Habits to Quit for a Pain-Free Future

Shoulder pain is a common woe for many, often stemming from poor habits that can exacerbate the problem.

Physical therapists are on a mission to alleviate your shoulder discomfort by urging you to break these six bad habits for the sake of your overall shoulder health.

1. Slouching and rounded shoulders

Maintaining a slouched posture and allowing your shoulders to round forward, especially during prolonged periods of sitting, puts excessive strain on the shoulder muscles and can lead to imbalances, causing discomfort and increasing the risk of injuries.

Be mindful of your posture; sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back. Incorporate shoulder stretches and exercises to strengthen the muscles that support good posture.

2. Carrying heavy bags on one shoulder

Carrying heavy bags or purses on one shoulder consistently creates an imbalance in shoulder muscles, leading to strain and potential overuse injuries.

Do your best to distribute weight evenly by using a backpack or switching shoulders regularly. Consider minimizing the contents of your bag to reduce overall weight.

3. Incorrect lifting technique

Lifting heavy objects without proper form, especially neglecting to engage the core and using the shoulder muscles, can strain the shoulders, resulting in injuries such as rotator cuff tears or muscle sprains.

Protect your shoulders by bending at the knees, engaging your core and lifting with your legs instead of your shoulders. Keep the object close to your body to minimize strain.

4. Overdoing shoulder workouts

Overtraining the shoulder muscles without adequate rest and recovery can lead to inflammation, tendonitis and long-term damage to the shoulder joints.

Allow sufficient time for recovery between workouts and incorporate a variety of exercises to target different muscle groups.

5. Sleeping on one side

Sleeping on one side for prolonged periods can put pressure on the shoulder joint and compress the underlying tissues, leading to discomfort or pain.

Using a supportive pillow or changing sleeping positions may help alleviate shoulder pain caused by sleeping habits.

6. Ignoring early warning signs

Ignoring mild shoulder pain or discomfort, hoping it will go away on its own, can cause issues to escalate into more severe problems.

Listen to your body. If you experience persistent shoulder pain, consult with a physical therapist promptly. Early intervention can prevent the development of chronic conditions.

Your shoulders are integral to daily activities. Habits that compromise their health can have lasting consequences. Physical therapists emphasize the importance of breaking these bad habits to ensure a pain-free and functional future.

By adopting proper posture and lifting techniques and paying attention to warning signs, you can protect your shoulders from unnecessary strain and maintain optimal musculoskeletal health. Take the proactive steps necessary to prioritize your shoulder well-being and embrace a life free from the burden of chronic shoulder pain.