Why are my shoulders always tight?

by dr.g

Neck

Image by fotografar via Flickr

Stiffness, achiness or tightness across the shoulders and lower neck?

It used to be mostly college age kids and adults that I would hear this from, but in the past few years complaints of neck and shoulder stiffness and discomfort seem to be coming from those younger and younger in age.

I believe the explosion of electronic devices like computers, pda’s, cell phones etc… and their use by kids has something to do with the rapid increase in neck and shoulder discomfort we are seeing.

Sitting at the computer or staring at your ipad and cell phone to play games or text is usually accompanied by a looking down head position. This places a lot of stress on the joints and muscles of the back of  the neck and shoulders. At first, it might just be the position or overuse of these muscles that causes this discomfort, and the pain usually subsides as soon as you stop looking down. However, over time, this repeated stress can result in a stretching of the ligaments that hold the bones of the neck and upper back in place, allowing them to shift.

This shifting of the neck bones out of place  can put pressure on local nerves resulting in pain, inflammation and further muscles tightening. In addition, headaches, shoulder pain, poor concentration, and or pain down the arm can also result.

So, paying attention to your posture when sitting or standing, holding your cell phone or ipad up to avoid looking down, adjusting computer screen to avoid looking down are all simple ways to avoid shoulder and neck stiffness and pain.  Stretching of the shoulder and neck muscles can help to provide relief and improve strength to prevent this problem as well.

If you already suffer from neck pain, stiffness, aching shoulders or headaches make sure to visit you chiropractor.

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