So I’ve been having neck and shoulder issues lately on my right side. I’ve had such great success with Robin McKenzie’s books, “Treat Your Own Back” and “Treat Your Own Neck”, that I bought “Treat Your Own Shoulder”.
I began reading it today at lunch. Here’s my problem. After doing a self-test (suggested in his book) to see if it really is my shoulder or if it might be my neck, I discovered that it is not my should. It is my neck. He referred me back to “Treat Your Own Neck.”
I continued to read “Treat Your Own Shoulder” though, because I periodically have trouble in Yoga with my upper arm and shoulder on my left side. It is always a little stiffer than the right. I was hoping to learn how to loosen up that side of my torso.
I’m glad I continued reading, because he confirmed what I found a few years ago about postural changes that were needed. It seems I needed a refresher. Just identification of the changes needed will help me correct these. For example, several years ago I figured out that I had been sleeping on a pillow incorrectly. I liked to lay on my back with my head on my pillow and my shoulders off. I learned as I got older that I needed to have my shoulders supported, as well as my head. So Mr. McKenzie just reminded me to be more conscious of how I sleep on my pillow.
He also added that I shouldn’t sleep with my arms raised over my head. Darn, that feels so good when I’m falling asleep, especially if the night is a little warm. I guess I need to stop doing this, too, because he says that I’m over stretching my arms.
Also, he talked about postural problems with sitting or standing with your arms in a raised position. I sit a lot at my computer and my right arm is always raised when working with my mouse. I just realized that having my mouse higher than my keyboard may be causing problems for my right shoulder. My right arm is always in a raised position, which probably causes problems for that shoulder. I’ll try to correct this. I should have suspected this, because lately I’ve been periodically trying to maneuver my mouse with my left hand, just to give my right side a rest. Was that my body trying to send me a message?
Also, I’ve noticed that sitting in arms chairs with my arms resting also raises my shoulders. I am of average height, but most chairs today seem to be bigger and made for taller people. I have to rethink sitting in arm chairs, and purposely not using the arm rests. I find that if I let my arms rest down by my sides in the chair, I do much better.
I also like to lean from one side to the other, and this is a serious “no no”. I learned this years ago when I drove an SUV which had a nice console armrest between the seats. I liked to lean on my right elbow on long drives. Consequently, I developed neck problems on the right side of my body. I stopped leaning, and the pain finally went away.
So many of our problems are postural. Looking forward to reading more of Mr. McKenzie’s fine book and then getting back to his “Treat Your Own Neck” book
which I keep in my medicine chest.
I don’t remember any of these aches and pains until I turned forty. I guess before then, we healed so quickly that none of these problems surfaced. Maybe all it took then was a good night’s rest.
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