Why Your Shoulders and Neck Hurt When You Run

You would expect any pain you experience while runningto be located in your lower body, but that’s not always the case. Pounding the pavement can also cause discomfort in your neck and shoulders, according to Mike Reinold, D.P.T., co-founder of Champion Physical Therapy and Performance in Boston, Massachusetts.

Bad posture from years of sitting—at a desk, in a car, on a couch—doesn’t magically disappear when you head out for a run, explains Reinold.

To compensate for a slouchy stature, you may subconsciously hold your shoulders close to your ears or you may pull your shoulder blades together, according to Ian Torrence, assistant running coach and ultra marathon guru for McMillan Running Company.

Those positions may not feel uncomfortable at first, but they can cause tension and tightness in your shoulder and neck muscles if you run that way for a long time or distance, says Reinold.

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