7 Shoulder Pain Exercises

Your shoulder is responsible for so many ranges of movement and when you experience pain, inflammation or aching of the joint, it can severely limit what you’re capable of doing. That’s why if you’re experiencing shoulder pain you’ll want to get out of it as quickly as possible. Here are 7 Shoulder Pain Exercises you can do yourself.

Shoulder Joint

Shoulder joint

Before exploring some useful shoulder exercises, it’s worth learning a little more about the shoulder joint.

The Shoulder Anatomy

Your shoulder comprises three main bones, each cushioned with cartilage:

  • Humerus
  • Clavicle
  • Scapula

The shoulder joint is the most mobile in your body because it allows your arm to move full circle giving you a range of motion. It also gives your arms freedom of moving backward and forward. As well as the joint, there’s the rotator cuff which consists of four tendons that connect the muscle to the bone.

If your tendons become strained you might end up with shoulder damage or swelling. It’s easy to damage your shoulder, through sport or repetitive movement. The shoulder is also at risk of torn cartilage, arthritis and bursitis and other diseases can cause limited movement, specifically diseases of the cervical spine of the neck, heart disease or gallbladder disease.

Shoulder Problems

It’s rare for a young, healthy person to experience significant shoulder pain but as adults age, there’s more chance of developing general aches and pains, not just in the shoulder. That’s down to the soft tissue in the body degenerating.

Common shoulder problems include nerve damage in the neck or shoulder, a broken bone or frozen shoulder (when the ligaments, tendons, and muscles stiffen up significantly).

There’s also shoulder dislocation which happens when the Humerus bone detaches itself from the socket. Spinal cord injury can also result in significant shoulder pain.

Shoulder Pain Exercises

Here are some excellent exercises that can help alleviate shoulder pain symptoms. You should also try rest, ice, massage and elevation for up to ten days. However, if your pain persists, it’s important to seek medical attention.

1. Shoulder Rotation

Sit up straight and gently rotate your shoulder by lifting it and moving it in a clockwise motion. Repeat the exercise in reverse and change shoulders. Repeat a few times until tension is released. Never force the exercise.

2. Releasing Your Neck

Sit up straight on a comfortable chair with plenty of support. Slowly move your chin down toward your chest, paying attention to the stretch in the back of your neck. Then, lean your head left to stretch out your right shoulder and stretch your head right to pull gently on your left shoulder. Hold each stretch for up to 60 seconds.

Breathe deeply and repeat up to five times to ease tension.

3. Arm and Chest Stretch

Hold your right arm outwards at 90 degrees so it is straight. Then take your opposite hand to behind your extended arm’s elbow and pull the arm towards you across your chest. If this hurts your shoulder, lower your arm slightly until the pain subsides. Hold this stretch for up to 60 seconds and relax. Repeat with the opposite arm.

Aim to release the tension in your shoulder by performing this stretch until you feel no pain. Repeat a few times.

4. Shoulder Shrug

Sit or kneel on the floor with your head facing front and looking straight ahead. Then inhale and while doing so, lift your shoulders up towards your ears. Breathe out as you drop your shoulders and repeat the exercise five times until tension is released.

5. Expanding the Chest

A post shared by anastasia (@anastasiadn) on

Place an exercise band or a strap behind your back and hold it taught between both of your hands. Then push your shoulder blades together as much as you can while lifting your chin upwards towards the ceiling. Hold the stretch for up to one minute and repeat a few times.

6. Shoulder Stretch

Stand straight in a doorway and hold your arms upwards to make a 90-degree angle to your body. Place both of your hands on one side of the door frame and position one foot forward as you stand straight. Lean forward against the door frame and feel the stretch. Hold it for up to 30 seconds and then repeat a few times.

7. Twist

Sit on a comfortable chair with your back straight and your knees positioned together. Then, turn your upper body towards the right while placing your left hand on the outer right thigh. Drop your shoulders while pushing on your outer thigh and breathe deeply for up to 30 seconds.

Release the stretch and change sides. Repeat on both sides of your body a few times until tension is released.

7 exercises to relieve shoulder pain
7 shoulder pain exercises