Last month I highlighted my recent observations of shoulder pain with muscle imbalance. A recent article* published in the Journal of Applied Biomechanics lends weight to the notion that poor shoulder posture is a key factor in perpetuation of neck pain after Whiplash injury and neck pain from non-trauma onset.
STUDY CONCLUSIONS: Those with neck pain were found to have reduced shoulder blade elevation and upward rotation. in other words, scapula protraction (“round shoulders”) is shown to be directly linked with neck pain of both insidious onset and from whiplash injury. The study authors also concluded that “strain is present in the upper trapezius, which in turn increases tenderness of the muscle and “inflicts compressive, rotational, and shear forces on the cervical and thoracic spine”.
SO WHAT TO DO? : Education and exercises to correct shoulder blade positioning is an essential element in management of neck pain of various origins.
Remember: The exercises required to achieve lasting change in posture are very specific to the individual. Physiotherapists are the experts at this type of exercise prescription. A short time out of your day at Health First Physiotherapy can be a key investment in your muscoloskeletal health.