Rounded Shoulders and “Locked” Upper Back?

The term “rounded shoulders” is used to describe a resting shoulder position that has moved forward from the body’s ideal alignment.

Rounded shoulders and rounding upper back form part of overall bad posture and is something we see frequently at the clinic, particularly because the majority of our patients are in sedentary jobs.

The problem is that it can get worse if left untreated and this may have a negative impact on a person’s overall health and appearance.

Causes and Risk Factors

Any activity that causes the body to look down and forward for long periods of time can contribute to slumped shoulders.

These positions disrupt how the muscles in the neck, back, and shoulders normally function and cause the upper back joints to “lock”. It is these muscles and joints that control the way the body maintains its posture throughout the day.

Daily things that may contribute to rounded shoulders include:

• Using a smartphone or tablet

• Using a computer or laptop

• Sitting for long periods

• Driving a vehicle

• Bending over repeatedly

• Carrying heavy objects for prolonged periods

By inadvertently training the body to be hunched forward, over time the muscles and joints interpret this slumped position as the body’s ‘norm’. Left untreated, this can be very harmful. It may cause increased stress on the shoulder joints can cause pain around the neck and upper back.

It is best to correct rounded shoulders by adjusting the posture as soon as possible.

Once you have corrected your posture, then we suggest you help maintain this by doing a combination of stretches and exercises and getting your chiropractor to regularly help maintain everything in alignment and help keep the joints free to move.

Home Stretches and Exercises

To help me formulate an exercise strategy for the shoulders, I’ve teamed up with Lee Turner, a patient of mine and my calisthenics coach, to ask him what his top exercises are for keeping the upper back mobile and strong.

Lee is a well-respected Calisthenics athlete, international judge & trainer based in London. He’s featured in & written for various fitness magazines including Men’s Health & Muscle & Fitness. He also set a new Guinness World Record in front of 3,000 people for ‘most consecutive ring muscle-ups’ [WATCH HERE].

You can also follow Lee on instagram @lwt_recession_proof_body and his website is

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