Aug 11

The 50 Year Old Hunch- Neck, Shoulder and Upper Back Pain… Solutions!

While working with one of my Personal Training Clients here in the Napa Valley, he mentioned that working on posture is one of the most challenging things that he does throughout his day. His reasoning for this is that he has spent 50 years of his life working behind a desk and not worrying about having healthy posture. So now he is stuck in protraction of the shoulders.  This is where the shoulder blades are rolled forward. This causes strain on the upper back because of the separation of the shoulder blades and the shortening of the rotator cuffs on the front part of your body being closer to each other. This will also cause strain on the thoracic and cervical spine do to muscles not being properly engaged to support the structures of the spine.


As Personal Trainers in Lifetime Fitness coaches here at Napa tenacious Fitness, a huge priority is establishing correct posture with our clients. One way to establish healthy posture is to prioritize spinal stability and to ensure the shoulder blades are retracted back in a healthy position.  Before we do any sort of standing exercise such as a squat, deadlift, or lunges, we coach that the shoulder blades should be slightly retracted backwards.  Having the shoulder blade slightly retracted backwards opens up the chest and ensures that our clients are not hunching forward.


Another key coaching cue for having structurally sound posture is to ensure that the ears are in line with the armpit and the armpit is over the hip. This can be viewed from a side profile while looking the body from the side.


Shoulder and neck pain can be caused from neglected and poor posture. Sometimes it is caused from years of neglecting components of prioritizing the movements of the body that will stem from optimum posture of the neck and upper shoulder area. Sticking to a few principles of ensuring that the shoulder blades are back are the ears are in line with the armpits can help remedy this problem.


Feel free to reach out to us at any time if you are experiencing any shoulder or neck pain at napatenacious@gmail.com.  At Napa Tenacious Fitness, we specialize in improving the overall quality of life and human performance of our community!