Our shoulders bear the brunt of our daily abuse. Whether we are lifting something, sitting with a comfortable posture, or making repetitive motions like folding, there is a lot we ask of our shoulders. Overuse, medical issues, and injury can hamper our flexibility and lead to mild or intense pain in the shoulder. However, there are ways to limit pain if you are experiencing shoulder discomfort. Safe and low-impact stretches can relieve sore muscles and lessen joint tension. Here we will explore a few of the best stretching exercises to reduce or avoid shoulder pain. Remember, if a motion worsens the pain, try something different. Pushing your shoulder too far, even with limited mobility, can lead to injury. If you’re unable to find relief from these stretches it’s likely time to reach out to a doctor such as the team at Macomb Pain Management.
1. The Pendulum
For this exercise, having a hard surface at roughly waist height is best.
- Place your off-hand on a table, couch, bed, etc., and lean forward, distributing your weight on the off-hand and balls of your feet.
- Lean slightly to the side of the affected arm, let it hang loosely, and relax.
- Swing your arm gently in circles about a foot in diameter.
- Repeat ten times and then switch arms if needed.
2. Neck Roll
This exercise helps to loosen tension in both shoulders and the lower neck.
- Place your chin against your sternum and look down. You should feel a slight stretch in your neck.
- Lift and tilt your head left or right, keeping your chin centered on the starting point.
- Keep your head in the left or right position for up to a minute and repeat on the other side.
3. Arm Across The Chest
The most simple exercise for flexibility and shoulder mobility.
- Lift your left arm straight out
- Bring your right arm up and under the left, pressing in on the elbow
- Gently press your left arm across your chest, pointing to the right side
- Hold or release pressure to a comfortable position
- Hold for up to 30 seconds
- Switch arms and repeat
4. Chest Expansion
For this exercise, you will need a flexible piece of rope, training bands, or even a rolled-up towel.
- Hold the rope behind your back and place your hands roughly shoulder width apart, fingers facing forward
- Puff out your chest while bringing your arms back
- (At the same time as Step 2) Lift your chin and head up
- Hold for up to 30 seconds
- Lower arms and chin while exhaling slowly
- Repeat 3-5 times or as needed
5. Downward Dog Pose
Only use this exercise if your shoulders can support your weight.
- Start on your hands and knees on a flat surface
- Slowly push with your hands and lift your hips up
- Keep your knees bent slightly and distribute your weight evenly.
- Hold this position for up to 60 seconds, lowering sooner if pain worsens
- Slowly lower down into starting position
Common Causes Of Chronic Shoulder Pain
Should pain comes in several different shapes and can worsen or lessen depending upon the age of the sufferer. While there are several nonsurgical treatments for these conditions, it is always important to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing chronic or severe shoulder pains. Some of the causes include:
- Degenerative Conditions- Caused by wear and tear of the muscles and joints over time. Most common among older or injury-prone people.
- Chronic Over-Use: Chronic overuse is why many baseball pitchers have shoulder pain. The constant use and repetitive motion can create severe pain in one location.
- Injury: A heavy blow, severe impact, or even over-stretching can result in temporary or permanent damage.
Interested in Relief from Shoulder Pain? Reach Out to Our Doctors Today!
If you’re struggling with shoulder pain and don’t have anywhere to turn, feel free to contact the Board-Certified doctors at Macomb Pain Management. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment to help lay out a treatment plan to help reduce your pain and get you back to enjoying life again! Our team can be reached today at (248) 844-8281.