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Inescapable Realities: Monday Blues, Rush Hour Traffic, & the Upper Back's Impact on Shoulder Pain

Let's dive into a few undeniable truths that we all encounter. We've all experienced the weight of Monday blues, cursed the torment of rush hour traffic, and here's another revelation: the condition of your upper back can make or break your overhead position. Now, you may not consider it as universally acknowledged as the first two, but trust me, it's a game-changer!

But why does your upper back wreak havoc on your shoulder? Allow me to simplify it for you with a straightforward concept that even the most easily distracted minds can grasp: scapular tilting.

Every time we raise or lower our arm in front of us, scapular tilting comes into play. Take a moment to glance at the image below. Notice how the shoulder blade of the person on the right tilts forward more than the person on the left. This forward tilt, my friend, is commonly referred to as anterior tilting of the shoulder blade. Now, why is this problematic? Brace yourself for this revelation: it creates an obstacle when you strive to raise your arm overhead. You can't just plow through it and expect a miraculously improved overhead position.

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Now, shift your attention to the person on the left in the same picture. See how their shoulder blade is perpendicular to the ground? That's the sweet spot, my friend! It's known as posterior tilting of the scapula, and we need that delightful tilt to achieve the coveted full overhead position. But who holds the key to this magical tilt? None other than your dependable upper back (thoracic spine), with its remarkable ability to extend or flatten out. This is precisely why individuals with rounded, kyphotic upper backs face an uphill battle in achieving that satisfyingly locked-out overhead position.

So, how do we unleash the magic and flatten out the thoracic spine, allowing the shoulder blade to tilt posterior? Brace yourself for an exciting two-step process to embark on your journey towards improved mobility:

  1. Bid farewell to shoulder pain and embrace movement! If you find yourself glued to a chair for hours on end, your upper back mobility is likely in dire straits. It's time to break free from that sedentary routine. Consider incorporating a standing desk into your life or finding creative ways to move around more. Let's face it, five minutes of mobility work won't miraculously erase the effects of an eight-hour slouch-fest with a rounded upper back. It's time for a revolutionary change.

  2. Embrace the art of mobilization for a remarkable thoracic extension. Now, this is where the real excitement begins. Be prepared to dedicate time and effort to address significant mobility limitations. Seek out resources and exercises specifically aimed at enhancing upper back mobility. Explore various techniques and practices to find what works best for you. Trust me, it's worth every second.

So, let's bid adieu to slouching and embark on a thrilling journey of thoracic extension. Your overhead position will thank you, and who knows, you might even unveil hidden talents you never knew you possessed. Say goodbye to your overhead shoulder pain and embrace the empowering potential of your upper back!

If you're tired of having the same nagging pain you've had for months and haven't found the right answers, schedule a call with us and learn how we've help hundreds of people just like you!

In the meantime, try out these thoracic mobility drills each week to start to make an impact on poor posture and shoulder pain!


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