How to Tell If You Have Rounded Shoulders, and What to Do About It


What Are Round Shoulders?

Rounded shoulders involve an issue with posture where your shoulders roll forward, which can cause several problems such as hunch back or forward head posture. Over time, however, this can cause even more severe issues with your body. When your shoulders round forward in this way, they cause a decrease in the space between your arm bone and your shoulder blade. This will cause your shoulder joint to become irritated and will even pinch the nerves and blood vessels in the shoulder. The result of this is pain in the shoulder, and decrease mobility and flexibility.

What Causes Rounded Shoulders?

The answer to this is quite simple, rounded shoulders are caused by the use of poor posture. During some everyday activities, such as writing on the computer or reading a book, the shoulders will roll forward naturally and, unless this is corrected, it causes you to have poor posture. Some other ways that rounded shoulder is caused include lifting weights excessively, imbalances in your muscles, and stress and other emotional factors that are faced on a daily basis.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

Although the signs and symptoms vary from person to person, the most commonly seen sign is the shoulders continually rolling forward causing your spine to follow suit and round forward as well. Some other common signs are lack of mobility and flexibility in the shoulders, sometimes a good way to check for this is to see if you can lift your hands over your head. Other symptoms include shoulder pain when you are resting or moving, and chronic neck and upper back pain or tension.

How Can I Fix It?

Fixing rounded shoulders often requires a variety of different methods in combination and not just one method by itself. The first thing to look at when trying to fix rounded shoulders is figuring out why you have rounded shoulders. Once you know why you have rounded shoulders than it will be easier to fix at the source. If you are constantly looking at a computer screen and hunching over, then this is most likely the basis of the problem. The first step to fixing it is being mindful of your posture and making sure that when you are at a computer or relaxing your shoulders do not return to the rolled position. There are also some exercises that can help to strengthen the weaker muscles in the shoulders and lengthen the muscles that are more hyperactive. Videos detailing these exercises can be found online.

Alternative Methods

Other alternative methods to fixing rounded shoulders are manual therapy and acupuncture. Manual therapy helps to reverse the damage caused by rounded shoulders by lengthening and stretching the tightened tissues which will help the shoulders to be more relaxed and revert back to the proper positions. Acupuncture helps to resolve rounded shoulders by balancing the meridians in the body and teaching the body how to properly use the muscles by encouraging the body’s natural healing processes.

External Resources:

Herman Miller Embody Chair Review – Ergonomic chair that can help with posture.