Jake Berman

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The Worst Activities You Can Do with Rotator Cuff & Shoulder Pain

Most of the time it can be hard to see what you are personally doing wrong in your habits because it is your lifestyle. Though, something that could be causing your shoulder or rotator cuff pain is your everyday routine, believe it or not!

Your continuous routine is so ingrained into you, that it can become second nature.

For example: Playing around on your tablet, reading before bed, or golfing on that Saturday morning with your friends, which you have been doing for years!

What if I were to tell you that these activities all have the potential to INCREASE your Rotator Cuff pain?

These movements can all cause avoidable strain leaving your shoulders in pain for days. The following are tips that WILL assist you in making your daily shoulder and rotator cuff pain much more manageable.

Move Your Shoulder

The very first thing you should do each morning is get SOME movement!! Motion is lotion, get that blood flowing.. It will help you tremendously!

Something that I constantly hear, “When I first wake up, I am extremely stiff, but as morning wears on and I get going, I begin to feel better.”

Not only patients, but almost everyone underestimates the benefits of movement. They may be concerned that they will end up causing more damage by doing something improperly, but this thought is incorrect.

Picture this, an individual has been in the same position for roughly eight hours, with hardly any movement (which is usually the case every night)… Do you believe it would be wise to get movement in afterwards?

If I had to bet, I would bet your answer would be an overwhelming, “Yes!”

You and your mind may be awake, but your body and joints are not yet. Have you ever gone for a run or walk without moving around first? It is extremely similar to this! With all this being said, when you wake up and get out of bed, and MOVE! Something is better than nothing... so only if it is for a few minutes, it will still benefit YOU while improving your overall feeling of wellbeing.

The Number One Worst Activity for Your Rotator Cuff That Causes Pain Daily!

Nowadays, EVERYONE owns a phone or tablet or better yet, both! Looking at these is one of the worst contributing factors for daily shoulder pain.

This can also have a MAJOR effect on your neck. Like I mentioned in my previous blog, “…your head weighs about 12 pounds. 

When you get into a slouching posture it can cause the weight of your head to feel like it is 32-42 pounds! This pain spreads from your neck down into your shoulders!"

Now, with how the world works today, I understand you need to check emails and texts because that is our leading form of communication! Unfortunately, once we begin spending hours on our phones & tablets, our body’s natural state begins to be interfered with.

What position is your head typically in while using these devices? The majority of the time, your head is facing down, which can result in slouching shoulders and poor posture. A general rule of thumb, your head should be in a position where your ears are in line with your shoulders.

The body is more prone to feel a strain in the neck, shoulders, and rotator cuff as soon as you begin to look down.

To help avoid any strain, use your phone for ten to fifteen minutes at a time. When it comes to the tablet and other devices, there are cases available that provide stands, to keep you out of that slouching position, utilize these!

Nighttime Reading

I understand that a lot of you like to read at night, but this also applies to you. A habit you may have picked up early on, which to be completely fair, is an absolutely fantastic habit to have! Unfortunately, for your body, it can often have a large effect on your posture.

A different problem that can come from reading while in bed, is HOLDING the book. Yes, you read that correctly! But it is not something that many people think about or are even aware of! Holding a book, newspaper, or magazine can cause certain muscles to be tensed.

Another thing that happens is your neck is also likely to be impacted by this. The neck will tense up in order to keep you upright while reading. Think for a moment, how long do you actually read for? How many times do you say to yourself, “I’ll just read one more chapter” before you close your book and go to sleep?

If you are deep in a good book, I am going to assume it is quite often! My recommendation would be to continue reading but only for a maximum of twenty minutes while sitting in the same position.

Another fantastic way of thinking about your rotator cuff or shoulder pain is to think to yourself when it actually occurs throughout the day.

Being aware of this is key, the first step to improving your pain is becoming aware of when it is happening and what you are doing while it is happening. Is the pain occurring while you are being physically active? When you are reaching for your purse? While you are sitting down? When you are getting changed or when you go to grab your wallet? Become aware of when you feel the pain!

If you are aware of when the pain occurs, it will allow you to focus on making adjustments to your posture or the activity that you are doing. For example: making sure your head is straight and your ears are in line with your shoulders! This is one of, if not the best tip that I know of. If you use this tip and apply it as much as you can to your daily routine, you will begin to notice a difference.

If you would like more quick tips like this to ease shoulder pain, click below where you can download my free tips guide instantly: 
Dr. Jake Berman

Dr. Jake Berman

After graduating from the University of Florida, Dr. Jake Berman, PT, DPT sought out mentorship first from Bob Seton in Destin, FL and then from Aaron Robles in Jacksonville, FL. Both of these mentors have 20+ years of experience helping people keep active and mobile so they can enjoy high quality active lifestyles. What Jake found was that back pain was by far the most debilitating pain and the highest factor leading to decreased physical activity later in life. These experiences are what inspired Jake to specialize in helping people aged 50+ keep active, mobile and pain free despite the aging process. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to alleviate somebody’s back pain so that they can get back to living their best life- especially in Naples! Over the years of helping 100’s of people aged 65-75 become stronger and pain free, one thing for sure has become apparent: “he who rests rots”. Jake is a firm believer that we become stiff then old, not old then stiff. Seriously, think about it...
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