Whether you work from home, an office, a store or factory, chances are you’re usually hunched over your desk, computer, phone or machinery like it’s second nature. It’s just about true that sometimes we need to do physically tasking assignments to earn a living. Unfortunately, some of these tasks are beginning to become literal pain in the neck and shoulder, or worse.
Shoulder pain is a type of pain that stems from long-term, repetitive, or awkward movements. If left untreated, it can result in serious permanent damage. We’re talking flattening of depression, decreased muscle strength, decreased quality of life, muscle damage, nerve damage, and even heart attack, in addition to neck strain and pain. Now that’s something to worry about.
The different kinds of shoulder pain include bursitis, dislocation, separation, tendinosis, impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tear, and adhesive capsulitis.
Causes of shoulder pain
If we are not careful, a few years down the road, we are going to be walking around with not only terrible posture but other potential consequences. Potential sources of work-related shoulder pain include:
- awkward postures
- lifting heavy loads
- use of heavy-duty machinery
- using a computer and/or phone
- working with your arms above shoulder level
- force or pressure on your shoulder
- mechanical contact stress
- sedentary work environments
- full body vibration, like those caused by driving on rough roads
- exposure to extreme cold temperatures
How to prevent shoulder pain
To minimize shoulder pain, it may help to do the following:
It’s time to pay some real attention to how you actually hold your device (computer, phones) in your hands. Work at keeping your wrists upright, alternating the fingers you use to type. You can also rest your forearms on a pillow when texting to help reduce tension on your shoulders.
When sitting at your desk, relax your shoulders and plant your feet flat on the floor. Also, every once in a while, have a walk around to alter your position and stretch your muscles. As much as possible, avoid slouching, as this could worsen your posture and strain your body.
In addition, try out some exercises like yoga or tai chi—they can help you develop an overall good posture.
Adjust your work-space
Avoid sitting at desks that are too high as to cause shoulder pain or damage. While seated, your desk should be level with your elbows. Similarly, sit your computer monitor at almost an arm’s length away from you. Your screen should also be just below your eye level. Do not forget that constantly turning to look at your monitor can cause neck and shoulder pain.
If you work in a factory or handle heavy tools, it is vital to keep your tools and regular supplies within easily accessible reach. Twisting or stretching to reach them can increase your risk of shoulder pain and injury.
Try out a hands-free device
If your job involves a lot of phone calls, consider the use of a hands-free device or headset. There are also laptops and tablets holders to keep your device at eye level, reduce the need to keep your head bent down, and prevent shoulder pain.
However, if you’d rather not use a headset, avoid cradling your phone between your ear and your shoulder. When answering call, make use of your non-dominant hand more. That way, you can keep typing or using the mouse while you’re talking.
Take regular breaks and walks
We know it’s hard: Work needs to be done … but if you have to sit or stand for extended periods of time, take frequent breaks. A good rule of thumb is to take some break in between work to shake out your hands and arms. Have you tried taking a walk during lunch break? Trust us, it is a good idea.
Whatever you do, try not to stick to the same activity for hours at a time.
Get some help
Did you know that essential oils have been known to reduce spasms and pain in your muscles? Try peppermint oil to reduce shoulder pain, prevent inflammation, and decrease pain. It’s especially great if you suffer serious neck or shoulder pain. Lavender oil is an amazing stress reliever, but can also help to reduce pain in the shoulder and inflammation.
However busy you are, try not to push yourself to the point of experiencing chronic shoulder pain. You should avoid performing actions that are beyond your physical capability. For example, you can always ask for help when asked to lift or carry heavy loads or equipment.
Most cases of shoulder aches and pains have their source, and in many cases, it may quite possibly result from work. To help lower your risk of shoulder pain and injury, take breaks from work, sit correctly, rearrange your workspace, and never be shy to ask for help.
In addition, a healthy diet along with regular exercises will keep a person in a good physical state. This will minimize their chances of injury. Preventing shoulder pain is done by preventing traumas or underlying inflammatory conditions that may cause pain to the shoulder.
If you experience pain in your shoulder, pay attention and seek medical help. Remember: Leaving something like this untreated, may lead to other health complications.
We hope you found this article helpful. You can share your thoughts in the comments section below!