Advertising
Advertising

Serious Health Problems Can Come from Having Tight Shoulders, Try the Stretches Before It’s Too Late

Serious Health Problems Can Come from Having Tight Shoulders, Try the Stretches Before It’s Too Late

Many of us have jobs that entail sitting at a desk all day long. For those of us stuck sitting, we’re typically looking at a computer and don’t have the best posture. I find myself almost shrugging when I hunch over the keyboard at my desk, and it causes a lot of tightness and pain in my neck and shoulders, leading to headaches and discomfort throughout more of the body. Though common, struggling with tight muscles still causes us to perform poorly in our day to day activities.

Why Having Tight Shoulders Is a Problem You Shouldn’t Ignore

Shoulders are a complex body structure, as illustrated below:

    The human shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, but that also puts it at a higher risk of injury and pain.[1] More so, the shoulder is not just a joint; it’s part of the neck, ribs and scapula (shoulder blade).

    Even if you don’t have a desk job, think about the way you carry certain items. Do you sling things over your shoulder despite how heavy and awkward it may feel? If you wear a backpack, you may only carry it on one shoulder causing you to walk in a lopsided manor. In order to avoid misusing your shoulder muscles and stay pain free, all four shoulder joints have to work appropriately. Thankfully there are simple stretches to assist you in strengthening stiff muscles and extending healthy motion.

    Remember to Warm Up Before Your Try the Shoulder Stretches

    It’s a good idea to warm up before stretching as strained muscles in your shoulders can cause injury.[2] Warming up is as easy as getting your blood flowing. You want to make sure your muscles are physically warm before exercising them. This can be done by holding your arms out straight in front of you with your elbows locked and pulling your arms back to form a T with your body. You can even warm your muscles by taking a warm shower, jogging in place, or doing some jumping jacks to increase your heart rate.

    10 Shoulder Stretches That Can Effectively Relieve Shoulder Strain

    Sit up straight

    Advertising

    It may not seem like much of a stretch, but simply sitting up straight and improving your posture helps move the spinal column and soft tissues to increase circulation and blood flow. While standing, slouch slightly forward before over-correcting to an upright position.

    Retract your chin

    You know how your face looks when you open your camera app only to find it’s in selfie mode? Yeah, that’s the look we’re going for here. Move your chin forward, then slowly bring is back by tucking it toward your throat. Do this hourly, and aim for ten times a day.

    Roll your shoulders

    This stretch is almost like a dance move. While sitting or standing up straight, roll shoulders up, back and down in a circular motion. Change direction after 10 rounds and do the same thing going forward. Remember to move in a circle, don’t just shrug up and down.

    Stretch your neck

    This is one of my favorites, as I keep a lot of tension in the area this stretch targets. Touch your right ear to your right shoulder. Now place your right hand over your left temple and apply just a little pressure by gently pulling your head to the right. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

    Advertising

    Thread the needle

      via Greatist

      This one isn’t as easy to do at work, but it’s effective. Start on all fours and lift your left hand off the ground. “Thread” the left arm through the space between your right arm and right leg, letting the back of the left hand and arm slide. Allow your upper body to rotate to the right but keep your hips level.

      Stretch your chest

      These muscles tend to always be tight, but they help pull your shoulders forward. Stand near a doorway and lift your arm, holding it straight or parallel to the floor. Grab hold of the door frame and lean forward. This will put your arm behind your shoulder and stretch your chest, upper arm and anterior deltoid muscles. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

      Stretch your rhomboids

      Advertising

        via Physiowarzish

        These muscles are located in the upper portion of your back and attach your shoulder blades to your spine. Find a pole or column to grab. Relax your shoulders as you pull your body back, extending your arms to feel the stretch below your shoulder blades. Hold for 20 seconds before switching sides.

        Scratch your back

            via WikiHow

            Advertising

            This stretch is a bit more advanced and requires you to be pretty flexible. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t do it the first couple times. Grab a small towel or t-shirt, and bend one arm over your head feeding the towel or shirt down your back. Bend your other arm around and up your back to grab the loose end of the towel. Pull up and down as if scratching your back. Repeat three to five times before switching arms.

            Circle your arms

              Standing straight, make big circles with your arm. Get as close to a wall as you can (it’s okay to brush against the wall). Repeat ten times on each side.

              Go for the goal

              The Goal Post stretch is a great option even if you’re at work. With your back to a wall, allow your shoulder blades to rest in a neutral position and bring both elbows out to 90 degrees. Without changing the position of your elbows, turn your right arm upward and let the back of your hand touch the wall. Simultaneously bring your left arm downward so your left palm touches the wall. Do this for about thirty seconds.

              Do you have any favorite stretches for your shoulders? Be sure to let us know!

              Reference

              More by this author

              Heather Poole

              Technical writer

              How to Be a Leader That Everyone Respects, Not Fears What If All the Choices You Make Every Day Aren’t What You Need Most? What To Eat (And Not To Eat) When You Are Suffering From Inflammation! Yes Life Can Be Boring Sometimes. But There’re Some Tricks to Make It More Interesting Why Our Personal Values Matter More Than Ever Today

              Trending in Health

              1 How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained) 2 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It 3 How to Tell Symptoms of Social Anxiety And What to Do About It 4 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 5 How Mental Fatigue Eats You Slowly (And Ways to Regain Mental Energy)

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on October 16, 2018

              What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

              What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

              Are you afraid of being alone?  Do you worry about your physical safety or do you fear loneliness? These are strong negative feelings that can impact your health.

              One study found that when older people are socially isolated, there is an increased risk of an earlier death,[1] by as much as 26%.

              If you experience loneliness and are worried about your fear of being alone, study these 6 ways to help you find your comfort zone.

              But first, the good news!

              How many times have you said to yourself, ‘I just can’t wait to be alone’? This might be after a day’s work, an argument with your partner or after a noisy dinner with friends. You need time to be yourself, gather your thoughts, relish the silence and just totally chill out. These are precious moments and are very important for your own peace of mind and mental refreshment.

              But for many people, this feeling is not often present and loneliness takes over. As Joss Whedon once said,

              ‘Loneliness is about the scariest thing out there’.

              Read on and discover how you can exploit being alone to your own advantage and how you can defeat loneliness.

              Advertising

              1. Embrace loneliness

              When you are alone, it is important to embrace it and enjoy it to the full.

              Wallow in the feeling that you do not have to be accountable for anything you do. Pursue your interests and hobbies. Take up new ones. Learn new skills. Lie on the couch. Leave the kitchen in a mess. The list can go on and on, but finding the right balance is crucial.

              There will be times when being on your own is perfect, but then there will be a creeping feeling that you should not be so isolated.

              When you start to enjoy being alone, these 10 amazing things will happen.

              Once you start feeling loneliness, then it is time to take action.

              2. Facebook is not the answer

              Have you noticed how people seek virtual contacts instead of a live, face-to-face interaction? It is true that social networking can provide an initial contact, but the chances of that becoming a real life personal contact is pretty slim.

              Being wrapped up in a cloud of sharing, liking and commenting (and insulting!) can only increase loneliness.

              Advertising

              When you really want company, no one on Facebook will phone you to invite you out.

              3. Stop tolerating unhappy relationships

              It is a cruel fact of life that people are so scared of loneliness that they often opt into a relationship with the wrong person.

              There is enormous pressure from peers, family and society in general to get married or to be in a stable, long-term relationship. When this happens, people start making wrong decisions, such as:

              • hanging out with toxic company such as dishonest or untrustworthy people;
              • getting involved with unsuitable partners because of the fear of being alone or lonesome;
              • accepting inappropriate behavior just because of loneliness;
              • seeking a temporary remedy instead of making a long-term decision.

              The main problem is that you need to pause, reflect and get advice. Recognize that your fear of being alone is taking over. A rash decision now could lead to endless unhappiness.

              4. Go out and meet people

              It was the poet John Donne (1572 – 1631) who wrote:

              ‘No man is an island, entire of itself, every man is a piece of the continent’.

              Human contact is essential to surviving in this world. Instead of wallowing in boredom and sadness, you need to get out as much as possible and seek contacts.

              Advertising

              Being a member of a group, however tenuous, is a great way. So when you are in the gym, at church or simply at a club meeting, exploit these contacts to enlarge your social circle.

              There is no point in staying at home all the time. You will not meet any new people there!

              Social contacts are rather like delicate plants. You have to look after them. That means telephoning, using Skype and being there when needed.

              Take a look at this guide on How to Meet New People and Make Friends with The Best.

              5. Reach out to help someone in need

              A burden shared is a burden halved.

              Dag Hammarskjold was keenly aware of this fact when he said:

              ‘What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden but this: I have only my own burden to bear’.

              Simply put, it is a two-way street. Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

              Reach out to help and people will be there when you need them.

              6. Be grateful and count your blessings

              Study after study shows that if people show gratitude, they will reap a bountiful harvest. These include a stronger immune system, better health, more positive energy and most important of all, feeling less lonely and isolated.

              If you do not believe me, watch the video below, ‘What good is gratitude?’  Now here is the path to hope and happiness:

              Featured photo credit: Anthony Tran via unsplash.com

              Reference

              Read Next