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Spinal Maintenance for Shoulder Strain…?

The elusive good posture (1). All too often a person’s good posture is sitting up rigidly. For some this includes holding a ‘curve’ in their lumbar spine. Health authorities say sitting is the new smoking (2) even though sitting can be a popular meditation (healthy) position.

Sitting in a rounded posture places more effort onto your shoulders. In particular, the small rotator cuff muscles, especially the internal rotators (3). Sitting rounded can be associated with a stiff thoracic spine, increasing the strain to your shoulder muscles. Therefore, the duration of time you sit, and the balance of your body can lead to an insidious shoulder strain.

To fully exercise and stretch the shoulders a flexible thoracic spine is required (3a). This means without a flexible thoracic spine you could strain one or both shoulders. Part of Chiropractic Maintenance Care is to ensure your thorax stays balanced and flexible. Stability occurs when flexibility is balanced along your spine, in three dimensions.

Herein we provide a healthy rationale to seek and receive treatment even when you are not in pain.

Repeated sitting, because of the viscoelastic nature of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints can take one beyond good form. A viscoelastic nature means body tissues eventually can give way, like subsidence.

The thoracic spine can contribute to headaches, neck discomfort, chest pain and shoulder strain. When our body becomes restricted then it is said to be in a state of dis-ease. As Hans Selye discovered restricting bodily movement was the foundation of his stress response.

Lifestyles that are sedentary, jobs that restrict movement and people who stress us out all add to strains and sprains over time. All the while we may be ignorant to not having a healthy spine because we feel it in the shoulders. Some researchers see a healthy spine as there being less lateral sway during dynamic postural demands (4). Meaning when you are in motion your shoulders are being utilised evenly. The take home message here is that beyond just pain, before things have gone wrong, spine maintenance is worthwhile (5) in the long run, when it is chosen by you (6). Making the choice for or against regular body maintenance will likely require expert information.

Book your appointment today…



  1. https://www.instagram.com/p/CDgVppzHsm7/
  2. annualpublichealthreport2015-16.pdf (lbhf.gov.uk)
  3. Kanlayana Photporn R et al (2014) Changes in Sitting Posture Affect Shoulder Range of Motion JBMT 18 239-43
    3a) – Strunce (2009) in Ref 2
  4. Panjabi M (2003) Clinical Spinal Instability and Low Back Pain. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 13: 377
  5. Eklund A et al (2018) Effectiveness of Chiropractic Maintenance Care A Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial. PLOS One 13 (9) e0203029
  6. Hjertstrand et al (2021) The Nordic Maintenance Care Programme: patient experience of maintenance care – A Qualitative Study. Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 29: 28
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