Shoulder tension

Shoulder tension

Fact Checked

The shoulder and the neck are two areas of the body which usually bear the burden of pain and tension. Pain and stiffness that is felt in the back can cause discomfort to the person and shoulder tension can slow down daily activities.

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Shoulder tension occurs when there is low lymph and blood flow in the area. It can be due to injury, poor posture and stress. Sometimes, shoulder tension can be caused by pain felt in the lower back.

Causes of shoulder tension

Shoulder tension
Engaging in excessive activities that adds strain on the muscles of the shoulder but lack of activities can also cause neck and shoulder tension.
  • Engaging in excessive activities that adds strain on the muscles of the shoulder but lack of activities can also cause neck and shoulder tension. Lack of activities causes an increase in the accumulation of body waste which causes the tightening and tension in the muscles.
  • Poor posture can cause tension in the shoulder such as sitting for hours at a desk without taking a break or working on a computer in the same position for hours can cause straining of the muscles of the shoulder.
  • Poor ergonomic position such as holding a mobile phone between the head and shoulder. This can shorten the muscles of the neck and shoulder and can cause tension and pain in the shoulder.
  • Wearing of high-heeled shoes can cause straining of the lower back and spine, but it changes the biomechanics of the shoulder and the upper back where the neck and shoulder muscles can become short. Ill-fitting bras can transfer the chest weight on the neck and shoulder.
  • The posture while sleeping can cause shoulder tension such as sleeping on the stomach.
  • Anxiety and stress can also make neck and shoulder muscle tense.


  • The shoulder becomes stiff along with severe pain when moving the shoulder in the upward and sideways directions due to spasm of the muscles.
  • There is weakness, swelling and tenderness of a tensed muscle of the shoulder.

Treatment and home remedies

  • Take a hot bath since it helps relax the tense shoulders or place a heating pad or hot water bag on the shoulders.
  • Perform some exercises since it helps in minimizing shoulder tension. Rotate the shoulder in a clockwise direction and anti-clockwise direction at least 10 times in order to minimize the tension in the shoulders.
  • Cross the arms and place the right hand to the left shoulder, then place the left hand on the right shoulder, both hands are now in a crossed position. Gently turn the head and trunk to one side as far as the body can turn, return to the middle and do the same in the other direction. Perform this exercise at least ten times.
  • Massage the affected area in order to minimize stress and strain on the shoulder muscles. This also helps in minimizing the stiffness and pain. You can gently massage the area using olive oil or coconut oil in order to promote proper circulation of blood flow. The accumulation of waste in the muscles of the shoulder is carried out by the lymph circulation.


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