Preventing Shoulder Pain 101

Good news! The best way to prevent shoulder pain is to use proper body mechanics. This is something you have likely heard about for the back, but it is just as important for your the rest of your body. So here are a few tips on how to protect your shoulders and prevent shoulder pain/injury.

1. Before you raise your arms up overhead, turn your thumbs upward.
2. Before you raise your arms overhead, sit/stand up tall.
3. Avoid lifting heavy objects higher than shoulder height (use a step stool if needed).
4. Be careful not to twist your shoulders when you are holding something heavy (especially with one hand).
5. Your shoulders are in their most stable position when your arms are down, with your elbows close to your waist. This is the position they should be in if you are lifting or carrying something heavy.
6. Avoid repetitive overhead lifting of heavy objects (this can be a big problem at work, if your work station is not ergonomic).
7. In general, practice good posture, which aligns your spine, shoulder blades and shoulders. When sitting or standing upright, your shoulders should be be resting in a vertical line below your ears.
8. If an activity starts causing you shoulder pain, stop it immediately. Then modify how you do that activity the next time. If it is hurting and you continue to do it the same way, it will likely get worse and may cause more serious tissue damage. 
Tune in tomorrow for more shoulder tips.
Do you have any comments about shoulder pain you have experienced in the past and what helped you?

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I am a Physical Therapist and Ergonomics Consultant, based out of Columbia, SC. My passion is to write about and speak about pain/injury prevention. I started Pain Talks as a consulting business in 2018.

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