What it looks like: This pattern looks like your shoulders are slumpy and rounded forward.
What it feels like: It feels like you have to constantly lift your shoulders up and then pull them together and onto your back. It also feels like frustration because this trick only lasts three minutes before you have to adjust your shoulders all over again. This pattern creates a heaviness in the upper body and chest and creates tension in the lower neck. It will feel like chronic tension and may accompany a bit of a hump on the upper back. As this pattern gets worse over time, shoulder tension will increase, you will get even more head forward, and headaches may increase.
Causes: This pattern is common: It can be caused by a wide variety of factors. you can have a genetically more curved spine in your upper back, or have lung issues, or have copied a parents posture with this pattern. Your upper chest and collar bones are probably more down the front of the body than they should be. The shoulder pattern either created this pattern or followed it.
Unsolicited advice: if you have this pattern don’t wear a raglan sweater. It will accentuate it.
Physical Reason for this pattern: This pattern is often based around being head forward from a neck injury. This can often create a collapse in the upper rib cage that takes the shoulders down the front with it. It can also be caused by respiratory issues or patterns or emotional depression. A person with this pattern may be what Rolfers call exhalation fixed. If you have this you will prefer to be exhaled rather than hold your breath... Check it out for yourself. Take a deep inhale and hold it. Then, take a deep exhale and hold that for 5 seconds. Which feels more comfortable. If this is you - exhale fixed may be your pattern...
Shoulder tension intervention: When you develop the support in the feet, pelvis and low back it will be easier to undo the rounded shoulders. You will feel like your shoulders are finally in the right place! When you relax completely they won’t drag your upper body forward and down. Your shoulders will feel like they sit nice and easy on your back. Correcting this pattern will stop your shoulders from pulling your head and upper back forward. You will need fewer neck rubs (although we suggest that you take them when offered). Headaches and mild nerve symptoms in arms and shoulders can be reduced or eliminated.