5 simple stretches for shoulder pain
- Shoulder pain or tightness affects 18% to 26% of adults
- You can try some exercises to help relieve your pain
- Shoulder stretches have numerous potential health benefits
The shoulder joint gives you the mobility to move your arms 360 degrees and the stability that allows all the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the shoulder to work together.
Shoulder pain is one of the most common orthopedic conditions. It is caused by damage to one or more of the components of the shoulder—the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments—that comprise the joint. Shoulder pain can appear immediately or increase gradually over time.
Shoulder pain or tightness affects 18% to 26% of adults. Stiff shoulders or tightness can cause discomfort and limit a person’s range of motion. If it is not treated on time, it can lead to neck pain and cause headaches.
In the initial stages, you can try these exercises to help relieve your pain and prevent shoulder pain. Always see an orthopedician if you experience shoulder pain that is not relieved by several days of rest, ice, massage, and elevation.
1. Arm-across-Chest Stretch – Bring your right arm out in front of you. Place it in the crease of your left elbow, pulling your right arm to the left and across your chest. If you feel pain in your shoulder, lower your arm until the pain subsides. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds then relax and repeat with your left arm. Repeat 3-5 times for each shoulder.
2. Neck Release – Sit up straight then slowly lower your chin toward your chest. You will feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Gently tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder and then your head to the right to stretch your left shoulder. Hold the position up to 60 seconds in each direction. Breathe deeply as you concentrate on relaxing. Repeat 3-5 times.
3. Chest Expansion – Hold an exercise band, rope, strap, or even a tie behind your back with both hands. While holding the strap, broaden your chest and draw your shoulder blades toward each other while gently moving your chin toward the ceiling. Breathe deeply for 10 to 15 seconds and release. Repeat 3-5 times.
Move your hands closer together on the strap if you want to progress the stretch.
4. Seated Twist – Sit straight up in a chair with your knees together. Twist your upper body to the right, placing your left hand on the outside of your right thigh. Relax your shoulders as you look towards your right, gently pushing on your right thigh. Breathe deep and hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds and release. Repeat both sides 3-5 times.
5. Doorway Shoulder Stretch – Stand in a doorway, holding your arms up so that your elbow is at a 90-degree angle and your arm forms a 90-degree angle to your body at the shoulder. Place each hand on one of the sides of the door frame, placing one foot forward as you stand up straight align your neck with your spine. Lean forward and engage your core. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
Shoulder stretches have numerous potential health benefits. Stretching can reduce tension, relieve pain, increase mobility, prevent muscle and joint injury and improve posture.