Welcome to this weeks blog. As we promised we are going to look at ways of helping to prevent shoulders from rolling in forward: 'protraction' as we call it, or 'rounding' the shoulders as many may say.
The problem with protracted shoulders is that they will gradually lead to numerous issues that we treat in The Reinge Clinic, day in, day out. Those issues include such things as shoulder pain from compression of the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joint; trapping of nerves which will present as numbness, tingling, pins and needles into the hand, or frequently mimic RSI in the wrist, to name but a few 😟.
Gym and home exercises such as rowing, prone cobra, reverse fly's etc. will help to retract the shoulders back towards the correct position, but how many things are you doing in every day life that can simply undo all that?
Well, any task that is in front of us and requires the hand to come towards the mid line of the body, such as using a keyboard, smart phone screen or laptop tracker pad, will create issues. Additionally, any action that requires you to also turn your hand palm down ( the whole shoulder rolls up and over to achieve this) adds even more-so to the problem and that's most tasks modern life requires us to do. Some we can't avoid at all, but some we can change the nature of, or limit the effect. So try these five sneaky ways to limit some of the every day actions that contribute protraction🤗.
1) Drive with hands at ten to two or lower 🤨 (yep, sorry about that!) If you drive with your hand/hands on top of the wheel (as in the photo) the palms will be turned down, with shoulders rolled up and over. The same happens when you rest your right arm on the open, side window!
2) Change gear with your hand turned on its side, hooking your thumb over the top of the gear knob rather than your whole hand over the top.
3) Invest in a vertical mouse for your computer, laptop and tablet. It keeps your hand on its side and therefor the shoulder open (you should be noticing a hand on side theme by now). Look around a bit for this as they range from extremely expensive to same as traditional mouse.
4) Try the voice command features on your phone, including texting by voice command 🤓
5) Get your office to set up your work space correctly, if your office doesn't stretch to that or you work at home, do an internet search for ergonomic desk and computer set up.
Hopefully that helps a little, why not use the principles above to try and spot yourself doing hand forward, palm down actions throughout the day and come up with some of your own solutions.
In our previous blog we looked at how to stop shoulder pain and protraction in swimming. Next week we will look at preventing pain and or protraction caused by cycling.
Now go and try the voice features on you phone. Just don't ask it to find Natwest, for some reason it returns HSBC 🤔!