As more and more of us are spending more time looking at screens all day, and whether it be sat down at work or staring at phones at home, posture is worsening. It's happening on an enormous scale, and a lot of the time, it can't be avoided. There are so many different issues that are being caused by this, and it's hard to keep track of them all. One thing that does often slip under the radar though, is rounded shoulders.

What rounded shoulders are

Woman with rounded shoulders at work

Rounded shoulders are a lot more common than most people may realise. It takes a while to manifest itself, and it can have multiple ways of affecting someone's life. It's so diverse in fact, that it's not even specific to shoulder or upper back pain. The general basis behind it is your shoulders being naturally forward, rather than in line with the midpoint of your back. It can happen for so many reasons too.

How to help resolve it

All is not lost though, and there are ways to help correct it, relatively easily. There are a lot of different things that can help to combat rounded shoulders, and the best approach is a combination of factors

Resting Posture

Possibly the most common cause of rounded shoulders is your resting posture. How you are positioning your body and your spine throughout your day has a huge impact on your posture overall. The ideal way to fix it is to make sure that you’re perfecting your posture wherever you can. Avoid slouching or uneven weight distribution wherever you can and keep yourself sat upright. Even moving your chair location when you’re looking at a PC can help you out. Try different things.

Upper Back building

Woman performing seated rows

Another awesome way for you to help fix rounded shoulders is to do corrective exercise. This is mostly in the form of back building. If your shoulders are moving too far forwards, strengthening your upper and mid back is one of the best ways to help keep them where they should be and prevent adverse movements. Upright Rows, seated rows and other lat exercises are all effective ways to go about this.

Chest Relaxing

Countering the point above, you may have rounded shoulders due to an overdeveloped or tight chest. It's essential that you are balancing your chest and your back strength. Make sure that you are correctly stretching your chest to keep the muscles in the state they should be, and hopefully, your shoulders will relax and be where they should be too, instead of being pulled forwards. Here are some things you can try.

How to prevent it

As well as just being able to treat and help restore rounded shoulders, it’s also a good idea to learn how best to prevent it from happening to you in the first place. Again, with all spinal issues, there are a lot of contributing factors, but these are a good place to start.

Stretch regularly

Woman stretching in a field

One of the best ways for you to maintain your shoulder positioning is to make sure that you’re stretching everywhere that you need to be doing, regularly. Stretch your back, arms and chest even as much as daily to make sure things are as relaxed as they need to be. Release unneeded stress and tension.

Posture

More than anything else, your rounded shoulders are a direct result of your posture. Again, so many things take their toll that you can't track them all, but there are some things that you need to avoid. Don't lean to one side when you're standing, don't slouch or hunch when you sit, stand upright with your shoulders back. All of these things are the most likely causes of rounded shoulders, and they are all manageable. Spend less time sitting if that is an issue, or try and be more active in general. It's tough, but it's manageable.

Back pain is not something that you want from life. It's incredibly painful, awkward and debilitating. It can take so many different forms, and so many people just think it's just a part of life, but it doesn't have to be. Strengthening your lower back and your shoulders are two of the best things that you can do for yourself, so take the time to do it and keep in the best shape you can!

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