6 Physical Therapy Exercises for Shoulder Pain That You Should Try


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Publish date

July 20, 2021



Shoulder pain is common among older adults. But it can also affect younger individuals. In all of our joints in the body, our shoulder has the most range of motion. This why shoulder pain and injuries are pretty much prevalent. In some instances, the pain occurs after medical surgery. Addressing pain after a medical procedure will help to prevent it from getting worse. And fret not because there are ways to manage it, such as physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain.

The shoulder is composed of three major bones including:

  • clavicle
  • humerus
  • scapula

These parts are linked by ligaments, muscles, and tendons, which help us make shoulder movements comfortably. But since we use our shoulders almost all the time, it becomes vulnerable to injuries. This is where the physical therapy and exercises to relieve shoulder pain come in.


Before You Begin

shoulder painConsulting a physical therapist before you start your exercises is essential. This is to ensure that you do things properly and not add more damage to your shoulders. Initially, the physical therapist will guide you on how to relieve shoulder pain through exercises. In time, you will be ready to do the exercises on your own.

Additionally, you will have to do these exercises three to five times a week. Since you are a beginner, you may start with a 10 to 15-minute routine. Slowly increase your duration according to the strength of your shoulders.

Moreover, do not overdo things, be sure to stretch according to your capacity. If it feels too painful to bear, stop immediately.



List of Physical Therapy Exercises for Shoulder

Stretch 1: Arm across the chest

This stretch is all about boosting the range of motion of your shoulder joints and all the muscles around them. If you feel pain in your shoulder while doing this exercise, lower your arm slowly. Here’s how it’s done:

  • put your left arm across your chest and keep it straight
  • use your right arm to support the other one
  • hold the position for about a minute
  • lower down your arm, put your right arm across your chest, and do the same procedure
  • repeat three to five times daily

Stretch 2: Neck release

Our second stretch exercise focuses on releasing the tension in your shoulders and neck. To do this, follow the instructions below:

  • look toward the floor; you should be able to feel the back of your neck stretching
  • slowly, tilt your head to the right and extend the opposing shoulder
  • stay in this position for a minute or two
  • repeat on the other side
  • do 4-5 times for each shoulder blade

Stretch 3: Chest expansion

The third stretch is called chest expansion. It focuses on the flexibility of your shoulders. Follow the steps below:

  • start by standing straight, hold a. exercise band behind your back with both of your hands
  • put pressure on your shoulder and move your shoulder blades toward one another
  • gently lift your head facing the ceiling and hold for half a minute
  • repeat this process up to five times

Stretch 4: Eagle arm spinal rolls

This stretch is focused on stretching your shoulders.

  • first, sit on a chair extending your arms to the side
  • put your arms in front of you in crossed elbows, right arm on top of left arm
  • bend your elbows by placing the back of your hands together
  • hold the position for 15 seconds
  • exhale while you are doing this
  • inhale before removing the bent elbows
  • repeat and do on the opposite arms as well

Stretch 5: Seated twist

If you want to stretch your neck and shoulders, a seated twist is the one for you. Sit straight on a chair, maintain your hips in facing forward position; the twist will begin in your lower back.

  • sit on a chair, make sure that your ankles are below your knees
  • twist your upper body to the left, put your right arm on top of your left knee
  • your left arm must swing back, holding the surface where you are sitting
  • hold the stretch for 30 seconds
  • repeat on the other side 3 to 5 times

Stretch 6: Shoulder circles

You can relieve shoulder pain by this stretch as it warms up your shoulder joints and increase your flexibility.

  • to start, place your right arm on the back of a chair
  • let your left arm hang down
  • circle your left arm in clockwise and counterclockwise
  • do this on the opposite arm as well
  • repeat 2 to 3 times a day

If the stretching techniques did not work out for you, it’s probably best if you seek medical advice from your doctor. While strengthening exercises may help you manage shoulder joint pain, other options should still be considered.

For instance, your shoulder pain is due to an injury; this injury might have caused severe damage that requires extensive physical therapy. Your doctor might suggest a daily appointment with your physical therapist for better results.



Home Remedies to Try

remedy for shoulder painApart from exercises, you can also try safe and effective home remedies for shoulder pain.

Massage therapy and acupuncture are also great holistic methods in relieving pain. Plus, they promote relaxation, which can be good after a tiring day at work.

Over-the-counter pain relief medications are also available in your local drugstores. Just be sure to take them according to the correct dosage.

Lastly, many athletes are fond of the R.I.C.E. method. This means resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the shoulders.







Top 10 Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and Tightness (https://www.healthline.com/health/shoulder-pain-exercises)

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