If you are one of the millions who suffer from shoulder pain, you know how debilitating it can be. Everyday activities like brushing your teeth or getting dressed can become a challenge. And not only is shoulder pain uncomfortable, but it can also affect your overall mobility and quality of life. Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to relieve some of the pain. This article will provide you with a list of exercises that can help with shoulder pain so you can get back to living your life to the fullest.
Common Causes Of Shoulder Pain
Many people experience shoulder pain at some point in their lives. The shoulder is a complex joint with a wide range of motion, making it vulnerable to various injuries and conditions. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include rotator cuff tendinitis, bursitis, and impingement syndrome. Rotator cuff tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons that connect the shoulder muscles to the bone.
Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the joint. And impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become trapped or pinched. While these are all relatively common causes of shoulder pain, it is crucial to see a doctor if the pain is severe or does not improve with home treatment. Only a medical professional can properly diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend a practical course of treatment.
Exercises That Help With Shoulder Pain
Depending on the cause of your shoulder pain, specific exercises may be more beneficial than others. Therefore, it is always important to check with a doctor or physical therapist before starting any exercise routine, especially if you have an existing injury or condition. However, the following exercises can be helpful for shoulder pain:
Arm circles are one of the most simple and effective ways to help relieve shoulder pain. The rotational movement helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint, which can help to decrease pain and improve the range of motion. Additionally, the circular motion helps to increase blood flow to the area, which can help to reduce inflammation.
Arm circles can be done with or without weight, making them a versatile exercise for people of all fitness levels. To do these, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a weight in each hand (if using weights). Keeping your arms straight, make small circles forward for 10-15 repetitions, reverse the motion and go backward for another 10-15 repetitions. Keep your shoulders down and back – do not let them hunch or round forward.
Wall slides are another excellent exercise for shoulder pain relief and mobility. This exercise helps stretch and strengthen the shoulders, chest, and upper back muscles. To do wall slides, stand with your back against a wall and lift your arms up so that they are parallel to the ground and pressed against the wall. Then, slowly slide your arms up the wall, keeping them straight and pressing your shoulder blades down. Hold for a few seconds at the top before slowly sliding back down. Repeat 10-15 times. When doing these, it is important to remember to keep your arms straight and not let them flare out to the sides. Additionally, do not let your lower back arch away from the wall – keep your core engaged and maintain contact with the wall throughout the exercise.
The pendulum stretch is a great way to increase flexibility in the shoulders and release tension in the muscles. This stretch can also help improve the range of motion in the shoulder joint. To do this stretch, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold onto a sturdy object like a chair or countertop for balance.
Next, let your affected arm hang down, and use your core muscles to swing it slowly in small circles, increasing the range of motion with each swing. Repeat 10-15 times in each direction. If you want to increase the stretch, you can bend forward at the waist and let your arm hang down toward the ground. Then, gently use your opposite hand to apply light pressure and increase the stretch. Remember to go as far as is comfortable – do not push yourself to the point of pain.
Lateral raises are a type of weight-bearing exercise that can also help to alleviate shoulder pain. The move involves raising your arms out to the side and then lowering them back down to your sides. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles and tendons around the shoulder joint, which can help to take some of the pressure off of the joint itself. In addition, lateral raises also work the upper back muscles, which can improve posture. This, in turn, can help to decrease shoulder pain caused by poor posture or muscle imbalances. Again, start with a lighter weight and do 10-15 repetitions, making sure to keep your shoulders down and not let them hunch up toward your ears.
Another weight-bearing exercise that can help with shoulder pain is the reverse fly. This exercise helps strengthen and stretch the upper back muscles, which can improve posture and alleviate pressure on the shoulders. To do a reverse fly, hold a weight in each hand (or use no weight) and bend forward at the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground.
Keep a slight bend in your knees and let your arms hang down, palms facing each other. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, raise your arms out to the side until they are parallel to the ground. Lower back down and repeat for 10-15 repetitions. Remember to keep your core engaged and do not round forward in your upper back – keep the motion controlled and focused in the upper back muscles.
Finally, the last exercise on this list is the chest expansion. This exercise helps stretch and open up the chest muscles, which can alleviate shoulder tension and improve posture. To do a chest expansion, stand with your feet hip-width apart and interlace your fingers behind you, straightening your arms. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, lift your arms up and back as far as is comfortable, feeling the stretch in your chest. Hold for a few seconds before releasing and repeating 10-15 times.
It is important to remember to keep the focus on stretching the chest muscles, not just lifting your arms up as high as possible. Also, keep your shoulders down, and do not let them hunch up toward your ears – this defeats the purpose of the exercise.
Try These Exercises To Help With Shoulder Pain!
Incorporating these exercises into your routine, along with stretching and proper posture, can help with shoulder pain and improve overall strength in the shoulders and upper back. As always, consult a doctor or physical therapist before starting any new exercise routine. And remember to listen to your body – stop any exercise that causes pain and consult with a professional if the pain persists. Then, keep moving and keep improving, one step at a time!