a woman having shoulder pain

Aching Shoulders: Why Women Suffer More Than Men

  • Women experience shoulder pain more than men due to poor posture, hormonal changes, and genetics.
  • Other causes include rotator cuff injuries and larger breast size, which pressure shoulder muscles.
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy, PMS, and menopause can increase inflammation and shoulder pain.
  • Prevention includes seeking medical help, lifestyle modifications, proper posture, and ergonomic adjustments.
  • Early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and preventive measures can effectively manage and alleviate shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain is an all too common problem among women. Research shows women have a greater risk of developing shoulder pain than men. Pain in your shoulders can range from mild to severe, affecting your daily routine. But have you ever wondered why women suffer more than men? Here’s a look into common reasons for shoulder pain among women and how to deal with it.

1. Poor Posture

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of shoulder pain among women. Women tend to slouch more, which adds pressure on their shoulder muscles and bones, resulting in pain. This can be due to hours of sitting at a desk or constantly hunching over a smartphone. If you are experiencing shoulder pain due to poor posture, sit up straight with relaxed shoulders. You can also perform simple exercises focusing on your shoulder blades and torso muscles to improve your posture.

2. Hormonal Changes

Hormones woman

Women experience many hormonal changes throughout their lifetime, such as during pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome, and menopause. These hormonal changes can increase the risk of developing shoulder pain. During pregnancy, the body undergoes numerous changes, including increased breast size, which can strain the shoulders, leading to pain. Whereas hormonal changes during PMS can make the body more prone to inflammation, leading to shoulder pain. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain due to hormonal changes, consider discussing suitable treatments with your healthcare provider.

3. Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff injury is women’s most common source of shoulder pain. The injury typically occurs due to repetitive movements such as throwing a ball, lifting weights, or playing tennis. The pain caused by the rotator cuff injury can range from mild to intense, and it can hinder your daily activities. Rest, regular stretching exercises, and physiotherapy are some of the ways you can relieve the discomfort caused by a rotator cuff injury.

4. Genetics

Some studies suggest that genetics play a role in shoulder pain development. Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) is one of the genetic factors that can lead to shoulder pain. JHS is a condition that affects the connective tissues in your joints, making them less stable. Hence, women with JHS may be more prone to shoulder pain. Physical therapy and strengthening exercises can help stabilize the joint and relieve pain.

5. Breast Size

Women with larger breasts are more prone to experiencing shoulder pain. The weight of larger breasts can put extra pressure on the muscles and bones of the shoulder, leading to discomfort. Women experiencing shoulder pain due to larger breasts can find solace in bras with wider straps and those specifically designed for larger chest sizes.

Prevention and Treatment

Thankfully, there are ways to prevent and treat shoulder pain. Here are four ways:

Medical Help

Doctor checking pain

It’s first crucial that you get medical help. An experienced shoulder doctor can provide comprehensive care for your shoulder pain. They can accurately diagnose the root cause of the discomfort and suggest appropriate remedies. They may also offer targeted treatments like physiotherapy, medication, or in rare cases, surgical interventions. They can guide you through specially designed exercises or rehabilitation programs to alleviate pain and prevent future injuries.

Lifestyle Modifications

Regularly adjusting your lifestyle habits can significantly reduce the risk of shoulder pain. These changes can include maintaining a healthy weight, as excess body weight can put added stress on your joints and muscles, leading to pain. Also, ensure your diet is rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your bones. Lastly, perform low-impact exercises regularly to keep your body fit and flexible.

Proper Posture

Proper posture, especially during prolonged sitting or standing, prevents shoulder pain. Ensure that your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed, and your head is aligned with your spine when sitting. Taking regular breaks and moving around can also help reduce tension and stress on your shoulder muscles and bones.

Ergonomic Adjustments

Ergonomic adjustments at home or in the workplace can significantly reduce the risk of shoulder pain. For instance, adjust your workstation so that your computer screen is at eye level, your elbows are at a 90-degree angle when typing, and your feet are flat on the floor. If you need to lift heavy objects, use proper lifting techniques to avoid putting undue stress on your shoulders.

Shoulder pain among women is a significant health issue with various causes ranging from poor posture to hormonal changes and even genetics. However, with early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and proactive preventive measures, it’s possible to manage and even alleviate this pain. By consciously maintaining good posture, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and making ergonomic adjustments, women can mitigate the risk of developing shoulder pain. And when pain occurs, don’t hesitate to seek medical help to address the root cause effectively. Remember, your well-being is essential, and no amount of pain should be overlooked.

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