By: Billie Jo Braatz, PT, DPT, LAT, Agnesian HealthCare Sports & Spine Center
Whether it is at work or at home, our daily activities can place a large amount of stress on our shoulders causing pain and limiting what we can do. This can lead to issues such as bursitis, tendonitis or impingement and can develop into quite a concern. Becoming more aware of the position of your shoulders during certain activities, particularly those overhead, can help decrease the pain and limitations that can result from repetitive use in these positions. Consider the following when you need to do overhead work in the future.
- Keep your work in front of you. Consider using a step stool or ladder to bring you up to the level of your work.
- Avoid reaching too far away from your body. Move your body close to what you are working on to decrease the amount of strain on your shoulder.
- Take a break. If you are working on something that requires an extended amount of time overhead, do it in small increments. Example: If painting a room, do one wall and then rest a bit. If washing windows in the spring, do one room a day.
Taking these few things into consideration can assist in preventing bigger issues from developing over time. If you already deal with shoulder pain from such activities consider seeing your healthcare provider as a referral to physical therapy may be beneficial. A few simple stretches and strengthening exercises may help decrease the pain and allow you to use your shoulders once again.