Blame it on all the time you spend doing computer work, driving, lifting babies, or scrolling through your Instagram feed on your phone: All of these activities (and more!) contribute to the rounding forward of your shoulders, creating tight muscles that cause a telltale "hunch."

Reasons your shoulders hurt

More than 20 percent of people suffer from shoulder pain, usually stemming from stiffness in the shoulders after long hours hunch over a desk. There are plenty of reasons why you might be experiencing shoulder pain, whether it's from a recent injury like a torn rotator cuff, or something that's developed over a long period of time.

There are four main causes of shoulder pain:

Tendon inflammation or tear: This encompasses conditions like tendinitis, tendon tears, and bursitis, when small, fluid-filled sacs called bursa, which cushion the bones and reduce friction in the shoulders joints, become inflamed and swollen. It's also possible for the top of your shoulder blade to rub against the rotator cuff tendons and bursa, which is called impingement.

Instability: Your shoulder becomes unstable when the top of your arm comes out of the socket either from an injury or overuse. The more this happens, the more likely it will continue to reoccur, which leads to an increased risk of developing arthritis.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis begins around middle age, when you may notice swelling, pain, or stiffness in the shoulders as a result of daily use or work injuries. It's also possible to develop other types of arthritis in the shoulder.

Bone fracture: If you've broken your collarbone, upper arm bone or shoulder blade, which usually happens after a fall or car accident, then severe pain is likely around the shoulders.

In much rarer instances, shoulder pain cause also be an indication of infection, nerve problems, or cancer - such as a Pancoast tumour, which is a type of lung cancer, or metastatic breast cancer. If your shoulder is hurting, don't panic - it's likely a much more minor issue. See your doctor if the pain is severe or persists over several days.

Other factors to consider

Certain aspects of your daily lifestyle may be hurting your shoulders without you even realising it. For example, think about your mattress - is it too soft? Studies have found that a medium-firm mattress tends to work best for people who experience neck and back pain. If your shoulder pain is worse at night, it's likely an issue with the rotator cuff, which could be irritating the bursa, orthopedic surgeon Dr Howard Luks, wrote on his website. Some at-home remedies for night pain include sleeping in a semi-reclined chair, wearing a cooling or heating pad, and using a shoulder support pillow. You can also try sleeping on your good side, with a pillow behind your back to keep you from rolling onto your painful side, recommends Arthritis Research UK. Sleeping on your back with a pillow to support your painful shoulder may help too.

Finally, try to be conscious of your posture throughout the day, whether you're sitting in front of a computer or driving. Taking steps to improve your regular posture may help your shoulder pain go away on its own.

Finding relief

When your shoulder is aching, all you want is instant relief - and luckily, there's plenty you can do yourself to help ease the pain. "It's relatively easy to unlock tight shoulders and chest muscles with simple exercises that can be done while sitting on a chair, standing, kneeling, or sitting on the floor," says Meg Plotsky, group exercise and corporate recreation coordinator. "These exercises and stretches are truly accessible to everyone and can be done any time throughout the day."

Here, Plotsky and other personal trainers, physical therapists, and chiropractors share their favorite exercises that will help your shoulders stop hurting:

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