Sit up straight!

You know what you SHOULD  do when you are at your desk but I do appreciate how difficult it can be to actually do it!

However that slouched posture will have contributed to your shoulder pain (and probably your neck pain and back pain as well) and there is only one person who can eliminate bad posture from the equation.

Getting your posture right.

Addressing postural problems is very important if you have a painful shoulder and it could be that rehabilitation therapy and improving the way you sit at your desk might be all that’s needed to get rid of the pain so avoiding an injection or an operation.

And if you do need an injection and your pain goes, don’t be complacent. You should use that pain free window to work on preventing a recurrence and sorting out your posture is a big part of that.

If it comes to surgery you will still need to learn to sit up straight because I will have created more space for your tendon to run in without rubbing. But if you still slump and have a round-shouldered posture then that new space will quickly get closed down and your pain will come back.

So how should you sit? Up straight. It is as easy as that. You should have your head over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.

Remember – its up to you!

You don’t need an expensive chair and there is no such thing as an ‘orthopaedic chair’ – that is just marketing spiel and means nothing. When I do clinics in the City I see people in chairs costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds. But if you still slouch in it, it isn’t doing you any good.

You need a chair that allows you to slide in so that your tummy is almost up against the edge I your desk. So that means either no armrests or adjustable downwards arm-rests or elbow pads only.

Your chair should be high enough that, with your elbows at your sides, your forearms are angling down slightly sobthey your hands rest on the keyboard. I don’t advise using wrist supports.

But it is often the mouse that causes the most problems. When I ask people to demonstrate their mouse position they almost always shove their arm out and away from their body. Wrong.

Keep your elbows glued to your sides. That is the absolute key. Elbows glued to sides. If you do that you sort of automatically come up into a better more upright position.  Okay you may not be able to hold it for very long but it feels pretty good for a few minutes.  Try it and see? Straight back and elbows to the sides.

Now from that position (elbow locked to the side) you can manipulate the mouse and get to every part of your screen without moving the shoulder at all.

And that is where you need to be.

The more you do it the longer you will be able to hold that position for. And a lot of ache and pains will go.

If you watch Mad Men you will get the picture. Set in the 60s the secretaries sat up straight with their elbows by their sides and even with the big heavy keys on an old fashioned IBM typewriter there was no RSI or neck pain or shoulder pain.

Head over shoulders over hips.