Rounded shoulders/Slumped or slouched shoulders/Hunched shoulders

Rounded shoulders/Slumped or slouched shoulders/Hunched shoulders

Rounded shoulders is a posture in which resting position of shoulders is slightly ahead or forward from its normal alignment. The main etiology of Rounded shoulders is

  • Faulty postural habits- Constant slouching while sitting.
  • Frequent forward bending of neck and shoulders-Prolonged hours of work at laptop or phone screen. 
  • Excessively long hours of driving vehicle in bad posture.

All the above factors contribute to muscular imbalance around shoulders and neck and result in slumped or rounded shoulders. It also contribute to stress or trigger points and pain around neck and upper back.

Observational analysis 

It is a great tool to diagnose Rounded shoulders.

In normal relaxed standing, palms are facing backwards with rounded shoulders and in supine lying, shoulders don’t touch the couch, they are slightly raised.

Corrective exercises

  1. Stretching of pectorals muscles.
  2. T position stretch- In supine lying, bend your knees and abduct your Arms to 90 degrees with palms facing upwards so that the upper body is a T shape. Hold this position for 30 seconds . Repeat 10-15 times.
  3. Wall press- stand with your head, neck, back and legs resting on the wall. Abduct your shoulders to 90 degrees and flex your elbows to 90 degrees so that the forearm touches the walls. Now press your arms against the wall. Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat 10-15 times.
  4. Rowing action- in long sitting position, this can be done with Therabands.
  5. Shoulder extension exercises- while sitting tall, pull the shoulders back and hold it there for 30 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times
  6. Prone lying shoulder and upper back extension exercises- in prone lying, clasp your hands at the back , pull your shoulders back and lift your head, neck and upper back. 10-15 repetitions wit 30 seconds hold at end position.
  7. Shoulder retraction exercises-with hands clasped behind the head, open up the elbows. Hold for 30 seconds, repeat 10-15 times.
  8. Wall push ups- while putting weights on the hands, slowly lower down your chest, keeping shoulders retracted. Its for stretching and strengthening of pectorals.
  9. Shoulder blade squeeze-draw both your scapulas/ shoulder blade downwards and inwards towards each other.
  10. Pull up exercises.
  11. In 4 point kneeling pose, lift your arms alternatively, hold for 30 seconds, 10-15 reps.
  12. Bridging exercises- In supine lying with knees bent, lift your back up, shoulders are resting on the floor. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat 10-15 times.
  13. Trigger points massage- Especially, pectorals, latissimus doors and serrate anterior muscles.
  14. Cobra pose and upward dog pose of yoga also helps.

Taping for rounded shoulders

While retracting the depressing the shoulder to neutral position, taping can be done from top of collar bone to mid thoracic area bilaterally.

Correct ergonomic posture

While working at the computers, 

  • The monitor should be at eye level
  • Head is resting between shoulders and not in forward flexed posture.
  • The upper and lower back should be resting against the backrest
  • Forearms should be fully supported on the table.
  • Thighs should be resting on the chair and perpendicular to the the lower leg.
  • Foot should be placed on a foot rest.

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