8 Ways To Prevent or Reduce Work-related Shoulder Pain

8 Ways To Prevent or Reduce Work-related Shoulder Pain
The modern man is continuously troubled by various forms of shoulder pain. Among all types of shoulder pains, the most common one is the one caused due to work. The usual reasons behind work-related shoulder pain are lifting or carrying heavy loads, the continuous use of a computer mouse, the use of industrial machinery and swiping commodities at a supermarket. If you are involved in any of the given practices and experience shoulder pain, read on to know more about the different ways to reduce and prevent work-related shoulder pain. It is better to start the treatment early rather than suffering in the future.

How does one characterize shoulder pain?

Continuous physical discomfort in the shoulder caused by any damage to the shoulder joints or muscles, ligaments or tendons supporting the joint is the primary way of expressing shoulder pain.

Types of Shoulder Pains

There are several types of shoulder pain where different parts of the shoulder are affected:
  1. Swimmer's Shoulder is a painful case where a connection ligament- a tendon rubs on the shoulder blade.
  2. Dislocated Shoulder is a severe condition where the upper arm bone is forced out of the shoulder blade socket by some external agent.
  3. Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursae, which are pads filled with fluid and act as cushions at the joints.
  4. Rotator Cuff Injury is another form of shoulder pain caused by damage or irritation in one or more connecting ligaments (tendons) or shoulder muscles.

Symptoms accompanying Shoulder Pain

The following symptoms usually accompany shoulder pain:
  1. Reduced physical mobility
  2. Neck pain
  3. Restricted movement
  4. Physical deformity
  5. Painful movement

Ways to Reduce and Prevent Work-Related Shoulder Pain

Usually, chronic shoulder pain is caused by work-related routine work, and you can follow the given steps to mitigate or prevent this type of Shoulder Pain:

1. Change Positions Frequently: We tend to sit in the same position for a long time when engrossed in work. This must be avoided, and you should frequently change your positions while working. This prevents the straining of the shoulders, neck and back. You can alternate between sitting and studying while working. You can also walk around a little bit to relax your muscles. Bad postures such as the slouching position, leaning, bending your neck awkwardly must be avoided at all costs. This also prevents your body from rounding up and causing permanent discomfort.

2. Maintain Good Posture: Sitting correctly while working reduces strain in the shoulders and neck area. One must also abstain from slouching to prevent strain in the upper part of the body. The following must be taken care of if you want to maintain good posture while sitting:
  1. Your feet should be flat and facing the ground.
  2. The thighs should be parallel to the ground.
  3. The lower back should have stable and reliable support.
  4. The elbows should be close to your body and should be supported by your body.
  5. The wrists and handline must be in line with the forearms.
  6. The shoulders should be relaxed.
3. Usage of Sit-Stand Desk: A sit-stand desk is usually referred to as working professionals who want to maintain a good posture while working. The core is strengthened in the standing position while sitting reduces stress in the upper body. In the standing position, the computer screen is comfortably placed just above the resting eye level. Musculoskeletal problems can be prevented and treated by the use of sit-stand desks in all offices around the world. Some workspaces already allow this great addition.

4. Rearrange your Workspace: The present position of your computer, mouse, chair, and keyboard might be the reason behind your impending shoulder pain. Make sure that your work desk is at the same level as your elbows. The screen of the computer should be at least an arm's length away. The chair being used should have a good cushion and must provide excellent support to your lower back. The chair should be preferably adjustable.

5. Take frequent breaks: Breaking away from work both physically and mentally is an absolute necessity for a good workspace and to increase your productivity. Frequent breaks from work also help to refresh the brain and body. Get away from your workspace and practice the following stretches.
  1. Raise your shoulders to your ears and hold this position for a few seconds. After holding, lower your shoulder muscles. Repeat according to your liking.
  2. Raise your arms in front of your body and interlock your fingers. Hold this position. Next, extend your arms and rotate your wrists as many times as possible.
6. Yoga: Another great of maintaining posture and improving overall health is the practice of Yoga. Given below is one of the most popular Yoga to relieve pain.
  1. Sit straight in your chair with your spine straight and feet together.
  2. Inhale and while exhaling, twist from one side to another side from the bottom of the spine.
  3. Use your hands to deepen this twist.
  4. After a few more deep breaths, return to your original position.
  5. Repeat this twisting process on the other side.
7. Perform the Shoulder Rolls: The Shoulder Rolls is one of the most effective forms of exercise. It helps in breaking the tight muscles which might have hardened due to the long hours of sitting. Follow the given steps to perform this exercise successfully:
  1. With your chin tucked in, make your back perfectly straight.
  2. Roll the shoulders in the forward, back, up and down direction in a circular motion.
  3. Repeat this about ten times.
  4. Now, reverse the direction of rolling. Roll your shoulders in the back, down, forward and up direction.
  5. Repeat ten times.
  6. Make a point to do this exercise about 3-4 times in a single day.
8. Use Essential Oils for Muscle Pain Muscle pain is usually caused due to inflammation in the muscles and restricted blood flow. Essential oils can relieve these pains by alleviating inflammation and promote normal blood flow. Chronic pains, pains caused by stress and other related pains can be treated with essential oils.

Precautions/Do’s and Don’ts

These are some of the ways of preventing and reducing any shoulder pain. However, if the pain persists even after trying out these techniques, it is best for you to visit the doctor and sort out your problems.

The given exercises and yoga stances should be practised under the supervision of a professional. If an amateur practices these exercises in the wrong way, the condition of the shoulder can worsen and cause more complexities. Hence, these should be tried at your own risk.

The sitting and standing postures can also be corrected using images available on the internet.

The mentioned ways are some of the popular methods of reducing strain in the shoulders and neck. If you are suffering other pain in the shoulders which cannot be relieved by these methods, it is better for you to visit a doctor or a physiotherapist. Moreover, act fast and do not let the pain grow on you.

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