Did you know that upper back pain and pain between the shoulder blades is often caused by unhealthy posture? Slouching, leaning, sticking your head forward and looking down a lot are examples of bad posture. Because we spend so much of our lives at the computer, on our cell phones and driving we are prone to poor posture by nature of our lifestyles.
When we slouch, our shoulders roll forward tightening the muscles on the front of our shoulders and straining the muscles in our upper back. This can cause the upper back pain that so many of us suffer from. Leaning to one side causes our neck and upper back muscles on one side to work harder to support our head, which is about as heavy as a bowling ball. Leading with our chin makes our neck muscles work very hard just at the base of our skull, when these muscles get tight it can cause symptoms including headaches and jaw pain. Looking down pulls on those muscles on the back of our neck and between our shoulder blades. If our lifestyles are causing our pain, what can we do?
Treating with neuromuscular therapy, we work to restore the muscular balance front-to-back and side-to-side. Maintenance care is a great way to address and reduce the postural stress of our lives. Some things you can do to improve your posture are: taking off the arms of your office chair if you tend to lean on them, in your car adjust your seat to be unprotected and your rear view mirror so it is just a little too high so you remember to sit up straight every time you check it, set reminders to get up and walk on your office computer, sit with your feet flat on the ground and avoid sitting with your legs crossed or your feet tucked up.
By Anne L’Esperance, Certified Massage Therapist