The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (2022)

According to a study from AXA Health, almost three-quarters of the UK workforce spends the majority of their workday sitting down. Of those questioned in the study, 46% reported that they are seated for between 4 to 6 hours during office hours, while a further 25% said they spend up to 7 to 8 hours sitting while at the office.

With such a huge proportion spending long periods sitting, it’s no surprise that many Brits are struggling with shoulder pain. Poor sitting posture is a common cause of shoulder pain. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of shoulder pain in the workplace and lay out essential tips on setting up an ergonomic office.

Click on a link to jump to that section:

  • What causes shoulder pain?

Read about the common causes of shoulder pain, and how the incorrect work set-up can cause or worsen symptoms.

  • What are the common causes of shoulder pain in the workplace?

Find out about how different posture mistakes and other habits can cause shoulder pain.

  • How can I sit correctly to avoid shoulder pain?

Read our tips on sitting correctly while working to avoid shoulder pain.

  • What are the best ergonomic products for shoulder pain?

Recommended ergonomic products for treating shoulder pain.

  • Working from home with shoulder pain

Read our tips for working from home ergonomically, including how to improvise with your surroundings and useful homeworking products.

  • Preventing shoulder pain – frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions on preventing and treating shoulder pain.

What causes shoulder pain?

Pain in the shoulders can range from a mild ache to a burning sensation, and is often caused by repetitive strain on the tendons and ligaments that surround the joint of the shoulder. It is also possible to injure the cartilage, menisci and bones in the shoulder joint.

Although a shoulder injury can be caused by big and strenuous movements such as lifting heavy objects, it is also very common to injure the shoulder by performing small movements repeatedly, such as when using a mouse or typing on a keyboard.

(Video) STOP Neck, Back, & Headache Pain At Work - Ergonomic Desk Set Up

Shoulder pain might also be caused by musculoskeletal disorders. For example, chronic pain and stiffness in the shoulder are symptoms of arthritis or a condition called frozen shoulder, while pain that gets worse when moving the arm and shoulder could be caused by bursitis, tendonitis or impingement. All of these conditions might be worsened by improper sitting posture and long-term computer use.

What are common causes of shoulder pain in the workplace?

There are several potential causes of shoulder pain in the workplace, many of which are related to the use of computers.

Repetitive movements

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) occurs when muscles and tendons are overused as a result of repetitive movements, such as operating a mouse or typing on a keyboard. Although these aren’t the most strenuous of activities, over long periods, they can lead to a range of shoulder pain symptoms including:

– Aches, pain, cramps and tenderness

– Throbbing

– Stiffness

– Tingling or numbness

– Weakness

The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (1)

Mouse movements and typing

If you experience aching or burning shoulder pain that radiates down the arm attached to your dominant hand, it could well be what is known as “mouse shoulder”. The muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the shoulder are often overused when using a mouse. Though only a small amount of force is needed to drag or click a mouse, repetitive use of such force can lead to shoulder pain. Similar problems can occur from persistent keyboard use.

If the mouse and keyboard are too far away from the user, additional strain will be placed on the shoulders due to the need to reach towards them.

(Video) The Ergonomics Guy - Right Shoulder Pain? Ouch!

Poor posture

Computer users often find themselves hunched over their desks in unnatural positions due to the incorrect desk height, chair height, and monitor, keyboard and mouse placement. Poor monitor placement can lead to straining of the neck which impacts the shoulders too. Office task chairs that do not support the back, neck or arms can also contribute to shoulder pain.

Lack of breaks

A major cause of shoulder pain in the workplace is simply a lack of breaks from repetitive movements and sitting positions. To avoid strain and keep muscles and tendons flexible, it’s a good idea to take plenty of short breaks rather than infrequent long breaks. Try slowly raising the shoulders up towards the ears and back down, or interlocking the fingers and extending the arms out in front of you to stretch the wrists.

How can I sit correctly to avoid shoulder pain?

Sitting in a neutral posture will not only help to minimise shoulder pain, but it will also reduce the risk of injury to other parts of the body. Follow these steps to sit correctly at your desk:

1. Sit up straight with your head aligned over your neck and chest.

2. Adjust your office chair to ensure your hips are raised slightly higher than your knees when feet are on the floor or on a footrest. Elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle when the palms rest on the desk.

3. Raise or lower your monitor to ensure you can see the whole screen without tilting the head up or down.

4. Keep the mouse and keyboard close to your hands.

What are the best ergonomic products for shoulder pain?

Ergonomic task chairs, which are designed to support the natural posture of the body, can help you to maintain a neutral sitting position to reduce shoulder pain. Choose an ergonomic task chair with armrests to reduce the need to lift the arms to reach your mouse and keyboard, and if possible, pick one with a memory foam headrest to support the neck.

Adjustable desks, such as the Active Sit Stand Workstation will also help you to achieve a healthy sitting position that is just right for your body.

Recommended products

Active Sit Stand Workstation

The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (2)

  • Instantly converts any desk into a sit stand workstation
  • 700mm x 400mm solid working surface
  • Quick and easy assembly
  • Comes complete with a single and double supports
  • Power assisted height adjustment
  • Single option supports monitor weights up to 7kg and the double option supports monitor weights up to 14kg
  • VESA Complaint 75mm & 100mm

Shop now

(Video) ErgoSlider Plus The Best Way to Avoid Shoulder Pain When Mousing!

To avoid holding the neck in an awkward position, try a monitor stand to ensure your computer screen is at perfect eye level. Document holders are also very handy for avoiding craning the neck or hunching the shoulders when referring to physical documents while using a computer.

CMD Reach Spring Assisted Monitor Arm

The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (3)

  • Awarded Ergonomics Excellence by FIRA
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • Spring assistance for fingertip movement
  • Folds flat into 80mm of space
  • Integral cable management
  • Standard Arm supports monitor weights between 2Kg- 5Kg
  • HD version product supports monitor weights between 3Kg- 8Kg
  • Supplied with top mounting universal C-Clamp, Through Desk & Grommet hole fixing
  • Available in three colours, Silver, Black & White

Shop now

An ergonomic mouse, which fits more naturally into the palm of the hand than a traditional mouse, could help you to avoid over-rotating the wrist and putting strain on the shoulder. Adjustable keyboards are another great way to avoid having to tense the arms or wrists while typing.

Working from home with shoulder pain

It can be tempting when working from home to simply rest a laptop on your knees and work from a comfortable armchair, sofa or even bed. However, this is bad news for the back, neck and shoulders which will be unnaturally hunched over while working. Instead, try to work at a dining table and sit in a task chair with a firm back for lumbar support.

Use pillows to raise yourself higher if necessary and place a couple of books on the floor to use as a footrest. You should also use books, or even a monitor stand to raise the height of your monitor screen. You can also use a laptop stand to raise the height of your laptop if you have an external keyboard and mouse.

Recommended products

Laptop stand for homeworking

The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (4)

This laptop support is perfect for the home worker, where space is limited. Made from lightweight aluminium, the laptop support folds flat for easy portability and storage.

  • Available in black.
  • Suitable for laptop or tablet.
  • Folds flat for easy storage and travel.
  • Supports laptops and tablets up to 4kgs.

Shop now

Vision H Ergonomic Workstation

The Best Ergonomic Products for Shoulder Pain (5)

This new ergonomic workstation, with the option of integrated power and charging module, has been designed to offer ergonomic support for home workers. The range includes a single monitor support, a dual monitor support and a single monitor and laptop support.

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  • Available in white
  • Optional 3x power and 1x USB Type A&C charger sockets
  • Includes cable management clips to secure cables to the arm and pole sections
  • Supports monitors and laptops up to 5kgs (2x 5kgs when used with a dual monitor support or a single monitor and laptop support)

Shop now

Are you currently working from home? View our full range of homeworking products here.

Shoulder pain FAQs

What is the best home remedy for shoulder pain?

A great home remedy for shoulder pain is to take a warm bath or shower to relax the muscles before gently massaging the area. You could also try some gentle physical activity that will help to stretch the neck, shoulders and back, such as yoga or Pilates.

Is heat or cold better for shoulder pain?

Heat can relieve tightness in the shoulders, so you could try applying a hot water bottle or heat pad to the sore shoulder. If the shoulder is swollen, cold will help to reduce inflammation.

Why use memory foam headrests?

Memory foam headrests can help to gently support the neck while sitting for long periods of time, which can reduce strain and prevent neck and shoulder pain.

What causes shoulder pain that radiates down the arm?

This type of pain could be caused by a rotator cuff injury, particularly if the pain stops before reaching the elbow. Pinched nerves in the neck might also cause this.

How do you massage a sore shoulder?

You can massage a sore shoulder by kneading the shoulder with the thumb or rubbing the fingertips in a circular motion from the shoulder up to the neck.

Will shoulder pain ever go away?

Shoulder pain should go away if you improve your sitting posture while working, but if it doesn’t get better you might have a more complex injury or condition. Always consult your doctor about ongoing or acute pain.

Related content

The best ergonomic products for neck pain

Why adjustable workstations are good for back pain

(Video) Change This One Thing & Most Shoulder Pain Goes Away

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FAQs

What can I put on my shoulder for shoulder pain? ›

Here are some tips for helping shoulder pain get better:
  • Put ice on the shoulder area for 15 minutes, then leave it off for 15 minutes. ...
  • Rest your shoulder for the next few days.
  • Slowly return to your regular activities. ...
  • Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) may help reduce inflammation and pain.

How do I permanently relieve shoulder pain? ›

Things you should consider;
  1. Keep yourself active and gently move your shoulders.
  2. Try shoulder exercises for at least 6 to 8 weeks to stop pain from returning.
  3. Try to stand up straight with your shoulders down and gently back.
  4. Sit with a cushion behind the back.
  5. Try using heat or cold packs to relieve the shoulder pain.
30 Sept 2021

Do ergonomic keyboards help with shoulder pain? ›

Standard keyboards force you to hold your wrists and arms at angles that can cause discomfort or pain in your hand, arm, or shoulder. An ergonomic keyboard can help you position your body more properly, with your shoulders relaxed, your upper arms close to your torso, and your forearms level with the floor.

Which antiinflammatory is best for shoulder pain? ›

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can relieve shoulder pain by reducing inflammation in the shoulder joint. Ibuprofen and naproxen are two NSAIDs doctors commonly recommend.

What is the main cause of shoulder pain? ›

The most common cause of shoulder pain is when rotator cuff tendons become inflamed or trapped in your shoulder. This is called rotator cuff tendinitis, or irritation of these tendons and inflammation of the bursa, small slippery fluid filled sacs that the tendons glide over.

What's good for neck and shoulder pain? ›

How Are Neck and Shoulder Pain Treated? The treatment of soft tissue neck and shoulder pain often includes the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn). Pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) may also be recommended.

Does shoulder pain ever go away? ›

It can take four to six weeks to recover fully from mild shoulder pain. There are some things you should and shouldn't do to help ease shoulder pain.

How do you live with chronic shoulder pain? ›

Treatment
  1. resting.
  2. avoiding activities that cause or exacerbate pain.
  3. taking NSAIDs, to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  4. receiving corticosteroid injections into the joint, to temporarily alleviate pain and inflammation.
  5. applying ice or moist heat to the affected joint several times per day.
8 Jun 2020

What fruits are good for shoulder pain? ›

Nutrition is an easy way to reduce shoulder pain
  • Bell peppers.
  • Citrus fruits.
  • Strawberries.
  • Potatoes.
  • Broccoli.
  • Brussels sprouts.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Cantaloupe.
9 Feb 2018

Is a vertical mouse better for shoulder pain? ›

If you need to reduce the risk of injury or want relief from existing pain in your wrist, forearm, or shoulder, the Pro Fit Ergo vertical mouse is the most comfortable solution.

Will an ergonomic mouse help shoulder pain? ›

An ergonomic mouse, which fits more naturally into the palm of the hand than a traditional mouse, could help you to avoid over-rotating the wrist and putting strain on the shoulder. Adjustable keyboards are another great way to avoid having to tense the arms or wrists while typing.

Can computers cause shoulder impingement? ›

What Is Mouse Shoulder? In layman's terms, Mouse Shoulder is a condition caused by using the computer without proper arm support. In medical terms, it's considered a Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). The repetitive motions when using the computer can lead to shoulder, back, or neck pain.

Which muscle relaxer is best for shoulder pain? ›

Muscle relaxants may help treat pain if you have muscle tension or spasms around the shoulder joint. Common muscle relaxants include cyclobenzaprine, tizanidine, and baclofen. You will need a prescription from your doctor.

Does Voltaren Gel work on shoulders? ›

Voltaren Emulgel helps with the relief of localized traumatic inflammation and pain such as shoulder pain. Shoulders are particularly prone to injury, sprains and strains and painful stiffness called frozen shoulder.

What can cause severe shoulder pain without injury? ›

Shoulder Pain Without Injury: 5 Common Causes
  • Arthritis. There are numerous types of arthritis, but each one describes inflammation of at least one joint, such as the shoulder. ...
  • Bursitis. ...
  • Adhesive capsulitis. ...
  • Rotator cuff tears. ...
  • Spine or disc issues.

Can shoulder pain be related to heart problems? ›

There are a few different heart disease-related sources of shoulder pain. The condition most commonly associated is probably a heart attack, but other potential cardiac conditions can also trigger this pain.

What does it mean when my shoulder hurts when I lift my arm? ›

Shoulder impingement is a very common cause of shoulder pain, where a tendon (band of tissue) inside your shoulder rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm. It affects the rotator cuff tendon, which is the rubbery tissue that connects the muscles around your shoulder joint to the top of your arm.

Can shoulder and neck pain be related to heart problems? ›

Heart attack signs look different for everyone, although there are a few common ones to watch for. Neck, jaw, arm, and back pain: Pain radiating to your jaw, back, neck, or arms may signal a heart condition, especially if the origin is hard to pinpoint.

Can shoulder pain come from the neck? ›

Most shoulder pain results from an injury or condition in the shoulder itself. However, sometimes shoulder pain stems from a problem in the neck. When shoulder pain is actually coming from the neck, it is wise to seek treatment as one or more nerves running from the neck into the shoulder could be at risk.

What cause neck pain that radiates to shoulder blade? ›

Cervical radiculopathy, commonly called a "pinched nerve," occurs when a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated where it branches away from the spinal cord. This may cause pain that radiates into the shoulder and/or arm, as well as muscle weakness and numbness.

What is the most painful shoulder injury? ›

Frozen shoulder is one of the most painful shoulder conditions due to its persistence, long recovery and ever-growing pain. In early stages of development, pain is at its height, but slowly minimizes through each of its three phases.

What does arthritis in shoulder feel like? ›

Shoulder arthritis is inflammation in your shoulder joint. Over time, arthritis leads to cartilage loss. Symptoms include pain, stiffness, decreased range of motion and popping, clicking and grinding noises in your shoulder joint.

What are 2 warning signs of a rotator cuff tear? ›

Signs of a rotator cuff tear include: Difficulty and pain caused by raising your arm. Popping or clicking sounds or sensations when moving your arm. Shoulder pain that worsens at night or when resting your arm.

How do you stop shoulder pain without surgery? ›

Kelly explains four ways to fix shoulder pain without surgery:
  1. Do physical therapy. Certain types of shoulder pain are actually better suited to physical therapy than surgery. ...
  2. Maintain your weight. What does weight management have to do with shoulder pain? ...
  3. Take medication. ...
  4. Control inflammation. ...
  5. Penn Sports Medicine.
25 Feb 2016

Can shoulder pain be treated without surgery? ›

Rest and physical therapy

Effective treatment for shoulder pain often involves a temporary and possibly permanent break from the activities causing your pain. Physical therapy may include massage, heat, and exercises designed to restore and maintain flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder.

Why does shoulder pain increase at night? ›

Tearing and injury to the rotator cuff become more likely as tendons in the shoulder naturally wear down over time. Due to gravity, laying down can cause the rotator cuff to stretch and pull, leading to significantly worsened pain at night.

Is milk good for shoulder pain? ›

Dairy. Dairy contains a high level of protein casein. This type of protein triggers inflammation and pain in the joints, and may even contribute to irritation around the joints.

Which drink is good for body pain? ›

Tea is one of the most-studied drinks when it comes to its benefits for arthritis patients. Green, black and white teas are all rich in polyphenols – compounds from plants that have strong anti-inflammatory effects. You'll find the highest polyphenol levels in green and white teas.

Can Vitamin b12 deficiency cause shoulder pain? ›

When the nutrient cannot be absorbed by the body, a deficiency ensues. This shortfall usually prompts an increase in homocysteine, which in turn may interfere with tendon integrity. Eventually, this could lead to a tear in the rotator cuff.

Should I use ice or heat for shoulder pain? ›

Injured shoulders should be iced for at least 72 hours, or until the swelling has reduced. Tense or tight shoulders can get relief from heat, but be careful not to use heat on any swollen injuries.

What are 2 warning signs of a rotator cuff tear? ›

Signs of a rotator cuff tear include: Difficulty and pain caused by raising your arm. Popping or clicking sounds or sensations when moving your arm. Shoulder pain that worsens at night or when resting your arm.

Does heat help shoulder pain? ›

Applying heat to your shoulder increases the blood flow to the area, meaning it's good for symptoms that might be brought on by poor circulation. This means applying heat to your shoulder is good for treating frozen shoulder or stiffness as well as muscle spasms and can really help with arthritis pain.

Why does shoulder pain get worse at night? ›

There are basically three conditions that can cause shoulder pain to worsen at night: bursitis, tendonitis, and rotator cuff injuries. This is because the inflammation involved in each can pull on the shoulder joint, especially when the area is compressed (as when laying on your side in bed).

How can you tell the difference between tendonitis and arthritis? ›

Arthritis, by definition, means inflammation within a joint or directly around it. Tendonitis, in contrast, is inflammation of a tendon, which is a flexible, rope-like cord that connects muscle to bone. Arthritis can occur wherever you have joints. There are two general categories of arthritis.

What are the 4 symptoms of tendonitis? ›

The chief symptom is pain at the site of the injured tendon, especially during use. The pain may be chronic or it may come on suddenly and feel sharp. Other symptoms include swelling, warmth, tenderness, and redness.

How can you tell the difference between a strained rotator cuff and a torn rotator cuff? ›

For starters, both have similar symptoms like pain, swelling, and stiffness. With a tear, the arm can barely move overhead. Tendinopathy tends to happen over months, even years, of overuse. Tears, however, are sharp pains that generally occur after a sports collision or accident.

How long does it take for a torn rotator cuff to heal without surgery? ›

Usually, mild rotator cuff tears or sprains will heal within four weeks. In other severe cases, the recovery might take 4 to 6 months or even longer based on several factors such as the severity of the tear, age, and other health complications.

How painful is a rotator cuff tear? ›

Rotator cuff injuries often result in a dull ache that can be felt deep in the shoulder. It can occur due to specific movements, such as lifting or lowering the arm. Some people experience discomfort during rest as well. Sleeping is often disturbed by pain, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.

How many times a day can I use a heating pad? ›

Generally, heat should be applied 1-3 times a day for 10-15 minutes at a time – however, if heat is added too early in the healing process it can perpetuate the inflammation cycle and be harmful to the body. Ultimately, the decision to use heat or ice is up to you.

What is the cause of neck and shoulder pain? ›

Neck and shoulder pain is usually the result of strains and sprains from overexertion or bad posture. Sometimes this pain will go away on its own. Stretching and strengthening exercises can also treat the pain. Sometimes neck and shoulder pain is due to a fracture in the bones of your shoulder.

Why does my shoulder hurt when I lift my arm? ›

Shoulder impingement is a very common cause of shoulder pain, where a tendon (band of tissue) inside your shoulder rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm. It affects the rotator cuff tendon, which is the rubbery tissue that connects the muscles around your shoulder joint to the top of your arm.

How do I keep my shoulders down when I sleep? ›

How To Sleep To Fix Rounded Shoulders (The Powerful Step)

Videos

1. Shoulder Pain? Do You Have Mouse Shoulder? How to Tell. What to Do.
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4. Hygienist Ergonomics: New Research & Strategies to Maintain Healthy Hands, Elbows & Shoulders
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