Sore Feet and Shoulders Could It Be RSI?

Closeup of brown eyeWrist StrappedGuitar Player possible RSI Cause

Most people recognize the damaging effects that sore, tight, and aching shoulders can have on you during the day. But, most people don't recognize how sore and aching feet can also affect the shoulders, and the posture, especially for people who are walking or standing a lot during the day. Especially during vacations, you may find that you are walking more than you normally would. Pay special attention to the condition of your feet as you walk on your vacations, at the beach, on a tour, etc.

So, how do the feet affect the shoulders? If you think about it, everyone has had some experience with this. Try to remember the last time your feet were really, really sore and aching. Put yourself back into that body. I often find myself in that condition after a long day of shopping or after a full day of walking or standing.

Think about how you hold yourself as you feel your aching feet. Most people try to avoid the aching sensations and do so by lifting themselves out of their feet by raising their shoulders. Under normal circumstances, this is just an annoyance. But, for those who are affected by repetitive strain injury, a simple lifting of the shoulders can have devastating effects.

Think about it...one of the most impactful areas of the body that is affected in almost all cases of RSI is the armpits. When the shoulders are raised, all of the supporting muscles and soft tissues that hold the armpits in place are affected and shifted. More strain develops in the armpits as the shoulders are held in an elevated position and the gradual process of tissue change under strained conditions begins to occur.

Other body functions can also be affected when the shoulders are raised. Try this...Sit or stand where you are, using good posture. Take a normal breath and feel how much air you can get into your lungs and how easy it feels to inhale. Now, lift your shoulders about an inch and take another normal breath. Can you feel how much less air you can take in? Can you feel how restricted your breathing has become?

Reduced air intake affects the levels of oxygen in your system, which can affect the normal metabolism of the muscles, the clarity of your brain function, your energy levels, and on and on. You want to be sure that your breathing is as easy and unimpeded as possible.

So, raising the shoulders because of sore or aching feet is not such a good thing to do. If you can, make sure that you wear properly fitting shoes with plenty of foot support. If you have the opportunity, slip your feet out of your shoes periodically throughout the day and wiggle your toes, make circles with your ankles, twist your feet with your hands. All of these actions help get the blood circulating in the feet and can bring a small measure of relief. If you can elevate your feet and legs, all the better.

If you stand in your profession, take every opportunity to get off of your feet that you can. Even little breaks can help reduce the overall sense of discomfort in your feet.

If you become aware that you are raising your shoulders when your feet get tired, remember that doing so has no effect whatsoever on relieving the pain in your feet, so you might as well drop your shoulders back down to where they belong. Raising them will only create other problems and will not fix the reason you are raising them in the first place. Substitute slow shoulder rolls to bring your awareness back into your shoulders and to help relieve any tension that has been building there. You might even want to consider purchasing one of those wonderful foot bath machines that give your tired and overworked feet a nice, relaxing water massage at the end of the day. What a wonderful way to thank your feet for all they have done for you???


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