When we are in a sitting still we should breath deeply into our belly using our diaphragm. Unfortunately this type of breathing is rare in our stress-filled lives. A more common breathing that you will see around the office is chest and shoulder breathing. This type of breathing relies on the muscles of the neck and shoulders putting excess strain on these muscles. Breathing like this a few times, no big deal but we breathe an estimated 17,000-30,000 times a day. Imagine how sore your arms would be after 17,000 reps! Learn more about breathing in our Compass Chiropractic breathe post.
How often do you find your shoulders up next to your ears? Shoulder hiking is a common response to fear or stress. Think about how a cat arches it’s back when it is frightened. Keeping your shoulders hiked for an extended period of time keeps these muscles active and caused pain and tension over time. One of the muscles that hikes your shoulders attaches to the top four vertebrae in your neck, which explains how that shoulder tension can lead to headaches. Shoulder hiking is a hard habit to break but it can be done. To break the habit, put a post-it note at your desk with the word “shoulders” on it as a reminder to lower and relax your shoulders. Over time you will teach your shoulders to remain in a relaxed position.
Your head weighs about 12 pounds, about the weight of a bowling ball. This is a lot for your poor neck and shoulders to lug around daily. Imagine holding a bowling ball close into your body, heavy but you can do it. Now extend your arm out in front of you, the ball gets much heavier. The same is true for your head. We know that you head effectively weighs an additional 10 lbs for each inch that it is in front of your shoulder. So lets say you’ve been really focusing on your work and jutting your chin forward three inches. Your head now weighs 42 pounds!
It is no wonder that your shoulder are always tight and sore. The three reasons that we mentioned above also lead to dysfunctions in the joints of the neck and upper back that perpetuate tension and soreness. At Compass we incorporate a variety of techniques to restore this lost range of motion and eliminate shoulder and neck tension.
If you have questions about how we can help, you can reach us through our contact us page.