How Posture Can Lead To Neck and Shoulder Injuries
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Most people spend a significant amount of the day on phones and/or computers. Texting, watching videos, looking at social media, and/or completing work related tasks are having negative effects on our posture. In a neutral position (looking straight ahead), the neck is able to support the weight of our heads (10-12lbs). When looking at a phone, it is common to look down at a 45-60 degree angle. This increases the force at the neck to about 50-60lbs.
Not only are we putting excessive stress on neck muscles and joints, we are changing the position of our shoulders as well. To hold a phone and/or type on a phone or computer, our shoulders move forward. This causes muscles in our upper back to get stretched out and weak and shortens the pec muscles in front of our shoulder. This forward shoulder posture effects the ability to raise your arm properly and can lead to shoulder injuries such as: rotator cuff tear and impingement syndrome.
To avoid neck and shoulder pain, I suggest the following:
· If you are using a laptop, stack it on books to bring the screen up to eye level and use a separate keyboard at elbow height.
· Take frequent breaks from looking at your devices throughout the day.
· Hold your phone higher up to reduce the amount of neck flexion.
· If you talk on the phone a lot, get a heads free device.
· Strengthen muscles in your upper back and stretch your pec muscles.
If you are experiencing neck or shoulder pain, our qualified physical therapists can help!