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Do you often feel tight and tensed shoulders? Here’s what to keep in mind

Tight and tensed shoulders can cause pain or stiffness in your neck, upper back, and upper body. Experts opine that it traps the shoulders, neck, and upper back and limits your daily activities. Your shoulders may feel tight and stiff due to stress, tension, wrong posture, and overuse, said Dr Udit Kapoor, consultant, Metro Hospital, Faridabad.

“Incorrect sleeping positions, slouching down in incorrect posture, injuries, poor posture and improper alignment of your body can also play a part,” added Dr Kapoor.

According to the expert, when you experience a stressful event or a bout of anxiety, “your muscles contract, sometimes forcefully”. “This is an automatic or reflex reaction. It’s known as a stress response or “fight or flight” response,” he elucidated.

Constantly lifted or tightened shoulders may also be a sign of persistent pain, possibly brought on by diseases or overexertion. “To reduce shoulder strain and enhance overall health, it is crucial to address the underlying causes, and seeking appropriate medical or therapeutic intervention is essential to alleviate shoulder tension and improve overall well-being,” said Dr Akhilesh Yadav, associate director, orthopaedics and joint replacement, Max Hospital Vaishali.

To relieve and prevent tight shoulders, one can do stretching and yoga as well as employ stress management techniques.

Freedom Sale

*Shoulder raises*Shoulder rolls*Ear-to-shoulder*Cross-arm stretch*Standing arm swings*Thread the needle*Cow face pose

“It’s important that you stretch your shoulders regularly because it helps loosen and strengthen the shoulder muscles. Releasing tension in your body can improve your overall feelings of wellness, too,” Dr Kapoor mentioned.

Concurred Dr Yadav and shared that muscle stress can be avoided by regular exercise, which includes neck and shoulder strengthening and stretching activities. “It’s important to keep your back straight while standing and sitting since a neutral spine position helps reduce stress on your neck and shoulders,” said Dr Yadav.

Prevention

Hunchback develops due to wrong posture and the muscle imbalances that are necessary to support the spine. Exercises that pull the shoulders back and counteract the hunched position help. “Moreover, hand and arm exercises often stretch and strengthen the chest and shoulder muscles which helps in balancing out the muscle tightness and weakness that often accompany a tightened shoulder,” said Prof (Dr) Ali Irani, head of physiotherapy and sports medicine, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai.

stress Stress can be a trigger (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Quick tips that can help

*Stay active and engage in activities that require you to use your shoulders

*Avoid a sedentary lifestyle and stay as active as possible.

*Try to maintain good posture and proper alignment in your body. “Pay attention to your body as you go about your daily tasks. If you sit for long periods, change your position often and get up for a short break every 30 minutes,” said Dr Kapoor.

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Dr Yadav shared that one should pay attention to workplace ergonomic improvements, such as changing the height of the chair, monitor, and keyboard which can encourage good posture and lessen shoulder strain.

*Try to reduce your stress levels, experts urge.

But remember, it is always best to visit a certified physiotherapist who can suggest exercises that are more suitable to your physique, and dietary habits and will yield more permanent results, added Dr Irani.

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