Rounded Shoulders

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What is Rounded Shoulder Posture?

Rounded Shoulder definition:

Rounded shoulders refer to a postural deviation in which the shoulders are positioned forward and the upper back is rounded. 

Other terms for rounded shoulders include: protracted scapula, winged scapula, hinged shoulders, internal rotation of the shoulder joint, anterior tilt of the scapula, upward rotation of the scapula, abduction of the scapula, and usually appears with upper back rounding, or kyphosis

Using the term rounded shoulders is a general way of describing many actions that occur at the shoulder. The shoulder complex consists of the glenohumeral joint (the ball-and-socket shoudler joint), acromioclavicular joint (AC joint), sternoclavicular joint (SC joint), and the scapulothoracic joint.


Shortened muscles often include the internal rotators of the shoulder joint, such as subscapularis, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, teres major, and the anterior fibers of the deltoid. Other muscles that commonly become short with shoulder rounding include pec minor, upper trapezius, and serratus anterior. See kyphosis also for the upper back rounding anatomy.

Lengthened muscles include the external rotators: infraspinatus, teres minor, and the posterior fibers of the deltoid. And other muscles that are often affected and lengthened include: rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, lower trapezius, and levator scapula. Again, see kyphosis for the upper back anatomy.

Common Issues:

Tightness in chest muscles, reduced shoulder mobility, rotator cuff injury, rotator cuff tear, A-C joint separation, shoulder impingement syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS), drooping chest, weak upper back muscles, upper back pain, lower back pain, neck pain, breathing difficulties, reduced spine mobility, muscle spasms, lumbar spine issues, degenerative disc disease, arthritic spine, headaches, jaw pain, tinnitus, hip pain, knee pain, digestion problems, acid reflux, and more.

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