How to Improve Bad Posture

Did you know that many shoulder and neck injuries are a result of bad posture? Poor posture can cause back and neck pain, headaches, and shoulder and arm pain. It can affect individuals who work in an office, professional athletes, or pretty much anyone.

A recent article reported that Florida Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson’s shoulder injury may be a result of bad posture. Now he’s standing straighter and even wearing a customized shirt that keeps his shoulders back.

Here are some ways to prevent back and shoulder pain resulting from poor posture:

  • Switch to an ergonomic chair in areas such as your office where you will have long periods of sitting.
  • Take frequent short breaks and walks.
  • Stand taller, with your shoulders back. In short, be aware of your posture and correct it.
  • Wear a posture support which can help you maintain correct positioning in your upper back.

Any person can have poor posture, but it is especially common among taller individuals and those who work at desk jobs. If you are at risk, speak with your doctor about ways to improve your posture.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Meeting with a doctor about joint pain can be confusing at times, especially because there can be so many different causes for your condition. Dr. Kevin McIntyre of Burlington Sports Therapy takes a deeper look at shoulder impingement (also known as shoulder pain) and breaks down several of the common causes. Here’s an excerpt:

It’s always easier to understand a condition when we simplify it. This happens quite often in the world of physical rehabilitation. An example in the knee would be the diagnosis of patellofemoral syndrome. This is a term that many practitioners use to describe a patients knee pain, yet it doesn’t specifically distinguish between various causes of pain in this area. Quite often patients are diagnosed with a condition in the shoulder called impingement. Again, this is helpful for some patients so that they can understand their condition better, but it is still a very vague term.

Check out the full article and learn more about the common causes of shoulder pain.

Immobilization – The Key to Healing Broken Bones

Have you ever broken a bone in your arm? Our natural reaction when falling or bracing for an impact is to extend our arms. Because of this, broken arms and shoulders are common injuries.

It can take several weeks or even months for a broken arm to heal completely. Immobilizing your arm is a key factor during the rehabilitation process. Immobilization helps keep your bones aligned as they heal and can also reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms. Most likely your physician will align your bones back into proper place, and then place a cast on the affected area. Your doctor may also recommend that you wear an arm sling or arm immobilizer to help provide extra support and to prevent you from moving beyond your range of motion too early. Nowadays arm slings come in various designs. They come with breathable fabric and some even have pockets so you can ice your injury to help enhance the healing.

If you ever experience a broken bone, make sure to see your physician immediately so you can start healing as soon as possible!

How to Prevent Shoulder Injuries From Swimming

Swimming is considered one of the best types of exercises for individuals who need an activity that is easy on the joints. However, most people are not aware of the shoulder injuries that can occur from swimming. The most common is known as swimmer’s shoulder, usually caused by repetitive use of the shoulder joint from swim strokes. In fact, up to 70% of competitive swimmers are affected by swimmer’s shoulder.

Here are some tips you can follow to decrease the chances of shoulder pain and injury from swimming:

  • Minimize injury by dealing with shoulder pain immediately. Take a break from swimming and ice the area to minimize inflammation. (Recommended: DonJoy Dura*Soft Shoulder Wrap)
  • Don’t swim if you’re sick, tired or cold. These symptoms are your body telling you that you may not be fully ready to swim, which could lead to injury.
  • Warm up before getting in the water. You can do some light jogging, walking or even jumping jacks. Anything that gets your blood pumping.
  • Stretch after warming up. Focus on your shoulders, but don’t forget to stretch your back, legs, and arms as well.
  • Perform exercises that strengthen the muscles, such as weightlifting. Build up the muscles in your shoulders and upper back.
  • Make sure you are using the proper swimming techniques. If necessary, take a class with a certified swim instructor.

As with any activity, health comes first. If you do find that you have persistent shoulder pain, make sure to consult your doctor.

Shoulder Braces for Rotator Cuff Injuries

Rotator cuff injuries can be very painful and prevent you from performing everyday activities. A few days ago we posted about how to prevent rotator cuff injuries, which recommended wearing shoulder braces. Shoulder braces provide compression to help prevent tears and offer stabilization for existing injuries. Here are some of our top shoulder braces for rotator cuff injuries:

  • DonJoy Sully Shoulder Support – Wear this brace during sports and activities for compressive support. Includes an anchor strap to keep the brace in place and to help prevent your shoulder from moving beyond its natural range of motion.
  • DonJoy Shoulder Stabilizer – Designed to immobilize your shoulder after an injury or post surgery. Reduces your chance of re-injury by managing shoulder motion. You can control the range of motion and work your way back to full activity.
  • DonJoy UltraSling III Shoulder Brace – Allows your arm to be positioned in a variety of positions depending on what you need for recovery. It includes an easy-open front panel to encourage forearm exercises. (Also available is the UltraSling III AB, which provides a large, comfortable pillow to rest your arm on.)

Rotator cuff tears can cause extreme pain and loss of motion in the arm. Wearing shoulder braces for rotator cuff injuries can make all the difference in shoulder injury prevention and recovery, so check these out today!