Stretches for shoulder pain

After a long day of extractions in the lab, I often end up with a large knot in my right shoulder.  It is usually right at the top and difficult to stretch. I am always asking Chris to massage my shoulder while we stand in line at the grocery store or while watching TV at home.  I have tried many different ways to stretch my shoulders, but I finally found a series of stretches that worked!  The series of three stretches are featured in a video from Yoga International, which you can find here and I highly recommend!

While these stretches helped the pain, they did not prevent it.  While speaking with my hand doctor yesterday, I asked him if he had any tips for reducing my particular shoulder issues that resulted from a day of pipetting while standing at a chemical fume hood.  He said that most shoulder issues result from poor posture and told me to pay particular attention to pulling my shoulder blades together.  During my experiments today, I tried to make a point of drawing my shoulder blades together.  I was surprised at how easily my posture slipped from being correct.  I made it a point to keep correcting myself, and I hope that after time it will get better.  This applies not only while at a fume hood but also when sitting at a desk.  I have heard that setting an alarm on your phone to cause your phone to vibrate every 15 minutes is a good way to keep yourself in check.  Additionally, the doctor mentioned that holding my arms lower would help with the strain, which is also applicable to sitting at a desk and moving around your mouse.

So the take-away from this is to pay attention to your posture by pulling your shoulder blades together.  In addition, the stretches found in the Yoga International video are quite wonderful for stretching your shoulders!

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