Shoulder pain has multiple reasons and everyone may have a different experience with it. However, all the shoulder pain arises from the same region which provides a full range of motion in your arm and helps you with your daily tasks. Whether it is playing that perfect backhand during a tennis session or scratching your back, or picking up something from a top shelf, your shoulder assists you in these movements.
Physiotherapy for shoulder pain is a great tool that can help with shoulder pain and tightness, and your physiotherapist will recommend some exercises that you can try at home on a regular basis to relieve some of the tightness and pain in your shoulder. These are the top 10 exercises to relieve shoulder pain and tightness!
1. Wide Stretch Across The Chest
This exercise can help with multiple things like increasing flexibility and range of motion. It also helps release tension in the surrounding muscles. You can also do this stretch at your own pace and you may lower your arm if it begins to hurt at any point in time. Use this as a warm-up exercise before you start your daily workout or sport. Place your right arm across your chest and support it by using your left arm or placing it in the crease of your left elbow and stretching it for a minute and repeating on the opposite side. Do each side about 3-5 times.
2. Neck Stretch
This is a great exercise to help relieve tension and also lessen any pain or stiffness in your neck and shoulder. Begin by lowering your chin towards the chest and instantly you will feel a stretch along the back, hold this position for 1-2 minutes and repeat on the opposite side. Do this 4-5 times, especially if you have been staring at the screen for too long, or have been in a sedentary position.
3. Chest Expansion
This helps lengthen your range of motion, release tension and pain, and also helps in promoting flexibility. You can do this exercise with either a towel or exercise band. Start with standing with feet hip-width apart, then broaden your chest as your shoulder blades come towards each other. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat about 5 times. You can make this stretch more intense by placing your hands closer to the exercise bands or towel.
4. Extended Arm Spinal Rolls
A great way to loosen your shoulder muscles, this can be a great cool-down stretch after intense exercise. In a seated position, extend your arm to the sides and cross the elbows in front of the body with your left arm on top and then bend your elbows as you try to place the backs of your forearms and hands together and then reach your left hand to bring the palms together. This exercise is also accompanied by breathing techniques like on an exhale, roll your spine and you draw the elbows towards your chest and on the inhale your chest expands as you lift your arms. You can hold this and continue this movement for a minute and then repeat on the opposite side.
5. Bench Twist
You can do this exercise seated on a bench or chair. This exercise helps stretch the muscles in the shoulder and neck. Be sure to keep your hips facing forwards as you exercise and make sure you let the twist start in the lower back as it gradually moves upwards. Sit in an upright position, and begin by twisting your upper body to the left bringing the back of the right hand to your thigh. Hold this position for 45 seconds and then repeat 3-5 times on each side.
6. Shoulder Rolls
A great warm-up exercise for any activity, and a great way to increase flexibility and movement, this exercise is a great way to improve shoulder mobility. The best way to do shoulder rolls is by letting your left hand hold on to something while you circle the right hand in clockwise and counterclockwise circles. Repeat 5 times in the two directions and move to the opposite hand. This is also a great post-work exercise.
7. Shoulder Stretch
This Shoulder stretch can be easily done on a doorway and it helps you with stretching and opening up your chest and strengthening your shoulder. An effective exercise if you pick up weights. Form a 90-degree angle with your elbows and arms while resting against a doorway. Press your palms into the sides of the door frame as you step your right foot forward, and engage your core while you are at it. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then repeat with your left foot. Repeat it on each side about 2-3 times.
8. Child’s Pose
This yoga pose is great as a whole-body cool-down stretch or a shoulder stretch in itself. It hits your back, shoulder, and neck muscles and renders restoration and stress relief to the entire body. Bend down as you sink your hips in your heels and extend the arms in front of you as much as you can. Have your chest fall heavy on the floor and stay in this position for 5-7 minutes for a perfect stretch and cool down after a long match!
9. Downward Dog Pose
The downward dog pose is a great exercise for your back and shoulders as it stretches and strengthens the muscles in the back. Lay on your hands and knees and press into your hands and you try to lift your hips up towards the ceiling while maintaining a slight bend in your knees. Make sure to keep your spine straight and press your weight evenly on your hands and feet. Flex your shoulders by bringing your head toward your feet.
10. Reverse Back and Shoulder Stretch
This is an intensive stretch exercise that is great for the back, neck, and shoulder. Lay on your back and with your elbows stretched out over your head, try to lift your weight up on your arms as you lengthen your entire body and feel the stretch in the shoulder and back. Hold this for 15 seconds and repeat it 3 times.
Through these exercises, not only will you help relieve the tension in those sore shoulder muscles, but also repeated exercises can help you regain full range of motion and mobility. Check the Phyt Health app for a plethora of exercises and postural correction tips that can help you with your shoulder pain.