Shoulders and Upper Back


On going neck and back pain? Constantly getting shoulder pain? No matter how much you stretch the pain won’t stop?


In today’s day’n age we are all caught with our heads down, for at least part of our days. This could be while studying, reading, working, socializing, or even in our sleeping positions.

These postures bring the head forward and cause the shoulders to round; when in these positions our body starts to alter itself accordingly. Therefore, stretching out and weakening the back & front of the neck, while tightening the chest and back of the neck. This makes it difficult for the body to maintain any other posture. When we do movements outside of this posture, such as lifting, carrying, overhead lifting or pulling; we cause injury to the muscles and joints.


In figure one you see, forward head posture, this is the position most people are in as a result of being on electronics, looking down at phones or computers and etc. Figure two shows the neutral balance head posture position that is the ideal position we would like to see the head and shoulder in.





Step One: Stretch the tight muscles

Step Two: Strengthen the weak and elongated muscles


Side bar: How do I know which are tight and weak?

Stand against the wall with your heels, bum, shoulders and head touching -> feel.-> what feels weak? What feels tight? What is difficult to hold in place? What areas are feeling a stretch?


Step Three: Stabilize the muscles to hold your posture and prevent future injury

Which brings us tooooooooo:


  1. Sitting straight up, imagine there is a string attached to the bottom of your shoulder blades.
    1. These strings are being pulled across and down the back to make an, X (Fig.3)
  2. When making this movement the shoulders should have minimal movement with them and you should not be sticking your chest out.
  3. Make sure you are still breathing while you are doing the movement with your shoulder blades
  4. Hold this position for 15 seconds -> 30 seconds -> as long as possible
    1. If you feel/see your shoulders elevating or coming out of your positioning, stop and re-position

Figure 3: Scapular Setting

This can be done while driving, eating, watching TV, Sitting on the bus… yep, pretty much anywhere 😛


If you know someone who is constantly suffering from neck and/shoulder pain, share this post to help them get a hold of the pain.


For more information or to book an appointment you can contact myself; Kelsey Walker with Achelois Sports and Athletic Therapy or your local Athletic Therapist, can be found at

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