Learn About Steps to Alleviate Stiff Shoulders During Lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused millions of Americans to spend more time behind a computer screen and has increased the risk of having a “tech neck.”
Common signs of tech neck include stiffness and upper back pain, localized shoulder pain, trap pain, muscle spasms, and headaches. If you already had frozen shoulder symptoms before the pandemic started, things have likely gotten worse.
Whether you are working remotely or spending more time on your gadgets and laptops due to the lockdown, you may start experiencing stiff shoulders due to poor posture. People usually take a hunched position with their neck flexed to look down at your phone or keyboard.
If you keep this position for extended periods, it will result in pain and discomfort.
Ways to Prevent Frozen Shoulder At Home
COVID-19 has forced many workplaces to transition into working from home full time. This situation has found many working longer hours under unsuitable working conditions. Frozen shoulders can be a pain. It is a common condition where the shoulders stiffen, which reduces mobility. Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is often mistaken for arthritis, but these two conditions are different.
Stiff shoulders involve the shoulder joint, while arthritis can affect multiple joints. Symptoms are a persistently painful and stiff shoulder joint that happens when scar tissue forms in the shoulder. There are cases where a frozen shoulder occurs as a result of an accident or fracture.
Frequent and gentle exercise can ease the symptoms of a frozen shoulder, but before you go on an exercise regimen to treat your condition, consult your doctor or physical therapist.
Common risk factors for stiff shoulders are:
- People over 40 years old
- 70% of frozen shoulder patients are women
- Recent surgery or arm fracture
- 10 to 20% of people with diabetes develop frozen shoulder
1. Tinker With Your Workstation
If you are one of those who now work remotely, you should consider setting up your home workstation the right way. Take a look at where you work at home, and you’ll quickly observe that it is different from your office workstation. Dining room tables, couches, sofas, and beds as workstations are not suitable for your posture.
Investing in an ergonomic chair and desk similar to the one you had in the office is a step in the right direction for your home workstation. You can also stack books on your laptop so that your screen is at eye level. Make sure that your keyboard is not too high or too low. Ask your physical therapist for more tips on the best workstation set up for your home.
2. Correct Your Posture
Working with the correct posture will go a long way in relieving symptoms of frozen shoulders. Try sitting with your shoulders against the back of your chair for starters, and keep your keyboard on your lap to prevent pushing your chin and shoulders forward. When you lean over to type something on your gadget or laptop, you increase the risk for tech neck.
3. Take Breaks
Zoom meetings and hours of working on spreadsheets and reading emails on the dining table can give you a sore neck and stiff shoulders. We can be so focused on work that we fail to take breaks regularly. Standing up and moving around every 30 minutes to an hour is ideal.
During these breaks, take the time to stretch your neck and shoulders. Regular movement is good for the body as your blood keeps flowing and you prevent muscles from stiffening. Try to keep your neck in one position for too long, and you’ll notice pain and discomfort afterward. Maintaining the wrong posture can lead to a severe medical problem or permanent pain and disability.
4. Stretch Regularly
The best way to fight stiff shoulders is to stretch every hour. You can sit up with your arms extended out and behind your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades with palms facing up while tucking your chin, so your head is over your body. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat three to four times.
5. Manage Stress
Stress levels have been high, especially after the COVID-19 hit. When loved ones start getting sick or passing away, businesses closing down, work grinding to a halt, and homeschooling the kids can be overwhelming.
Chronic stress can cause increased tension in the muscles which can lead to shoulder and neck pain. Exercise and mediation can help relieve stress during these trying times.
Do You Need Professional Help For Frozen Shoulder?
There have been numerous pain stories due to lockdowns, and shoulder problems are one of the top issues. Patients share similar stories on how shoulder pain has been bothering them since the lockdowns started.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who now work remotely due to COVID-19 lockdowns, your frozen shoulder problems have likely turned for the worse. Frozen shoulder symptoms get worse due to inactivity, and since we don’t get to moving around like before, it’s no surprise that stiff shoulders are the consequence
When home remedies for frozen shoulder pain don’t help anymore and cannot function normally, you should consider getting professional help.
The pandemic may have affected your schedule to have surgery, but things have slowly returned to normal, and almost all orthopedic centers have resumed pre-COVID-19 activities.
Now is the best time for you to schedule your long-awaited procedure.
At All-Pro Orthopedics, we specialize in dealing with all kinds of shoulder problems. We have the experience and expertise in Dislocated Shoulder Treatment, Reverse Shoulder Replacement, Shoulder Surgery, and Shoulder Arthroscopy.
Please request an appointment with us today and say goodbye to that nagging shoulder pain due to the COVID-19 lockdowns.