Is Your Posture Causing Your Shoulder Pain?

Do you experience shoulder pain? You may be surprised to learn that your posture might be the culprit. Poor posture can put stress on your joints, which can lead to pain. By improving your posture, you can often alleviate shoulder pain. In this post, we will discuss the shoulder and its relationship with posture.

man clutching his shoulder in pain

The shoulder is a complex structure made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), the clavicle (collar bone), and the humerus (upper arm bone). These bones make up four joints that rely on a number of muscles, tendons, and ligaments for stability. When these structures are out of alignment, it can lead to dysfunction of the four shoulder joints and cause pain and inflammation.  

The four shoulder joints are: 

  1. The glenohumeral joint  
  2. The acromioclavicular joint 
  3. The sternoclavicular joint 
  4. The scapulothoracic joint 

The Glenohumeral joint is where the upper arm bone meets the shoulder blade. The Acromioclavicular joint is where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. The Sternoclavicular joint is where the collarbone meets the sternum or breastbone. And finally, the Scapulothoracic joint is where the shoulder blade meets the rib cage. These four joints work together in a complex way in order to allow for the many jobs that our shoulders are required to handle – like throwing, carrying, pulling, and pushing. This complexity, however, also makes the shoulder susceptible to pain.  

Some common causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff tears, dislocations, tendonitis, impingement, and bursitis. However, one of the most overlooked causes of shoulder pain is poor posture. When the ribcage becomes too rounded (thoracic hyperkyphosis) or too flat (thoracic hypokyphosis) the scapulothoracic joint loses proper alignment. This can lead to a number of problems including reduced range of motion in the shoulder and strain on the muscles and joints of the shoulder. In severe cases, it can even compress the nerves in the shoulder, leading to pain, numbness, and tingling. Fortunately, there are treatments available for thoracic hyperkyphosis and hypokyphosis. With proper diagnosis and treatment, many people are able to find relief from their shoulder pain. 

If you are experiencing shoulder pain and have not had success in relieving your symptoms, it may be time to check out your posture. The first step towards properly assessing your posture will be finding a doctor certified in CBP (Chiropractic Biophysics) analysis and corrective methods. These doctors will use the latest methods of biomechanical analysis to measure and assess the severity of your posture and spinal alignment. If it is found that your posture may be causing your shoulder pain, CBP certified doctors will review the evidence-based methods that can be used to help manage and possibly correct your imbalances. 

Here at Modern Chiropractic Center, we have the staff and doctors you need to help you find the solution to your shoulder pain that you have been looking for. Give our office a call at 208-314-1357 (Boise location) or 208-205-9934 (Nampa location) to get scheduled for a free consultation and exam.

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