Is Poor Posture Causing Your Shoulder Pain?

Dr. Ben Coupe
Pain Reduction

August 09, 2016




Within the shoulder there are several tissues that are pain sensitive. For the purpose of simplicity this article will focus on the most commonly affected tissues; being the rotator cuff muscles and the subacromial bursa. Let’s start with the rotator cuff. It’s a group of four muscles within the shoulder joint, consisting of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis muscles.

Rotator cuff injuries can be especially painful and difficult to resolve. Recovery is largely dependent of what type of injury has occurred. These range from impingement, tendonitis or tears. Tears can be nasty depending on how big they are. If large enough surgery will be required to fix it. Impingement and tendonitis however are a different story. They can be solved through conservative treatment and this is where posture comes into it.

The supraspinatus muscle runs through a small space in the shoulder called the subacromial space. Your posture has a huge impact on this space because when your shoulders round and roll forward this space becomes smaller. As a consequence there is more pressure and squeeze on the tissues inside. Overtime that will rub and create friction, especially if you are doing a lot of overhead activity. This is why people who work overhead (like painters) or people who weight train in the gym are greater candidates for shoulder problems. If allowed to continue, it will eventually become painful and inflamed. It is no coincidence that two of the most commonly affected tissues in the shoulder are the supraspinatus muscle and subacromial bursa as they live inside this affected subacromial space.

There are many different treatment types out there (some more effective than others) but if the underlying posture is not changed then the problem will persist. Whilst some practitioners do focus on improving posture, they focus too directly on the shoulder joint itself ignoring the rest of the body. They also tend to emphasise exercises to correct the rolled shoulder posture but in our experience the results are slow and are limited unless the appropriate corrections are made to improve overall posture.

Real postural change needs to take into account the entire frame of the body. It may be that imbalance in the spine or even the lower limb is the real reason why the shoulders roll forward. If this is ignored the problem either won’t budge or will keep returning. ABC™ technique corrects misalignments that the body can’t self correct as there is no muscle pulling in the direction needed. As a consequence we expect dramatic and lasting postural improvements. This includes correcting the shoulders back to their ideal position and thus opening up the subacromial space. Pressure is then taken off the supraspinatus muscle and subacromial bursa and recovery is allowed.

If you (or someone you know) have a persistent shoulder issue that won’t resolve then perhaps ABC™ technique and postural correction is your answer.

Postural Correction

At Melbourne City Chiropractic we focus on structural/postural correction. Specifically, we utilise a structural corrective technique called Advanced Bio-Structural Correction™. ABC™ is a ‘manual’ or ‘hands-on’ style of chiropractic. Its protocol involves meningeal stretches and spinal, pelvis, hip, knee, feet and rib adjustments.

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