Is Office Work causing your Discomfort?

Shoulder pain can be a nuisance to deal with as it affects almost every movement we carry out day to day.

Shoulder and neck pain can often happen due to the stresses and strains of modern day life. We drive to work, sit at our office desk for most of the day, eat lunch sitting down and drive home and slouch watching TV on the couch. 

All of these positions are sustained leading to a build up of stress in the shoulders and neck tissues, in turn leading to pain. 

Many people think that the resolution to this is to go for a relaxing massage. While this can definitely help in feeling good in the short term, it certainly won’t resolve the issue if your pain has been around for some time. We will get to how you can resolve your shoulder pain without relying on painkillers or injections later in the blog.

Here are some important Shoulder stats that you should understand:

  • 50% of people aged 60 and over with NO shoulder pain have have rotator cuff tears.
  • 1 in 5 people have some muscular tears in their shoulder, only 1 in 3 of them have symptoms.

It is very important to understand this as we all have some form of wear and tear in our bodies as we go through life.However, pain is a much more complex process than simply at the site of pain.  

What causes Shoulder pain in Office workers?

  • Sustained positions without regular changes in posture.
  • Poor Shoulder  and Thoracic mobility.
  • Weakness in the Upper Back muscles.
  • Stiffness in the Neck and Thoracic spine.

Who is Most Susceptible?

  • People who work long hours at a desk.
  • Those who drive long distances to work.
  • Workers in highly stressful jobs.
  • Little exercise and reduced sleep.
  • Gym goers who overtrain one muscle group.

Does my Posture cause my Shoulder Pain?

Nowadays everyone seems to be blaming their shoulder or back pain on their posture. People say ‘’oh I just have bad posture, my family members are the same, there is nothing I can do about it”.

This is a big statement that healthcare professionals have found no real evidence for. The best posture is one that is constantly changing.

When we sustain a position or posture for a prolonged period of time, our muscles may form a collagen build up to get used to these positions over time.  This is not good as we develop mal-adaptive positions of the shoulder and this may impact your shoulder pain.  

These constant slouched postures causes the upper back and shoulders to round forward. The muscles get pulled into a lengthened state and over time they become weak or inactive and stress builds up in the muscles.

Other muscles then compensate by working harder. Overtime stiffness build up in the traps muscle and neck muscles causing discomfort and pain.  

Tips to help your Shoulder pain right now?

  • Make a point of constantly changing your posture.
  • Change where the mouse is located at your desk and where the monitor sits every couple of days.
  • Give yourself reminders to change seat position every 30 mins, or stand.
  • These will help you stimulate other positions in the body and give the overworked muscles a rest. 

How can Physiotherapy help?

  • Physiotherapy can help relieve your shoulder pain by finding the true cause and outlining a plan to get long lasting results. 
  • We use a variety of manual therapy techniques to reduce pain and stiffness.
  • Most importantly we give you individualised exercises to strengthen the upper back and shoulders.
  • We educate you on your day to day positions and what you can do to stop the discomfort returning.
  • Massage can still be effective for shoulder pain once used with other modalities. Massage is a little misconceived as people think it is to release muscle knots in the shoulder and neck. The tension in the tissues is a combination of different layers of tissue and not just muscle. The tone of the tissue is in ‘protective mode’ as opposed to having actual knots in it

Why is Massage only not resolving my Shoulder pain?

Bascially massage manipulates muscles to increase the temperature of the muscles themselves and increase overall temperature of the tissues so that they feel looser and less stiff. This tells the brain to reduce the tone in the muscle that it is ok to release the feeling of tension.

Want to finally get ride of your Shoulder or Neck Pain?

We can help in 2 ways.

Initial Assessment: For people who want to find the true cause and start treatment immediately to get the other body parts doing their jobs quickly.
Free Discovery Session: for those who are a little unsure if we can help them but have a desire to get back to doing the things they love to do but don’t know how.

You can book an Assessment or Apply for a Free Discovery session here.