5 Simple Exercises to Ease Shoulder Pain

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shutterstock 422121043

Shoulder pain is a common occurrence amongst adults. According to NCBI an estimated 18 to 26 percent of adults will experience shoulder pain in their lifetime. For those suffering from constant shoulder pain, you know how frustrating it can be. Since you use your shoulders, more than you may recognize, pain can put a hindrance in your life.

Shoulder pain is one of the most frequent musculoskeletal complaints, and its prevalence and consequences increase with age.

The good thing is you can be proactive when it comes to dealing with shoulder pain. Many exercises exist to help you stretch the muscles and strengthen the shoulder joint helping to ease and prevent pain. Let’s look at a few of these easy to do at home exercises to help get you started on a path to recovery.

Above the head chest stretch

While seated or standing, interlock your fingers behind your head. Bend your elbows and raise your arms above your head. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together and move your hands and elbows backward. Vary the placement of your hands to emphasize the area of the shoulders you are stretching. Repeat 3 to 5 times.

Neck release

While sitting up straight in a chair slowly bring your chin down to your chest until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Lean your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder. Repeat the stretch in the opposite direction. Hold the stretch in each direction for one minute. Breathe deeply as you stretch to help you relax. Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times for each side.

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Chest expansion

Using an exercise band, a belt or even a tie, place it behind your back and grasp it with both hands. While holding the band, bring your shoulder blades together and slowly lift your chin toward the sky. Breathe deeply and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3 to 5 times.

90 shoulder stretch

Standing in a doorway, hold your arms up so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle and a 90-degree angle to your body. Place each hand on the side of the door frame. Place one foot forward, standing straight with your neck in line with your spine. Lean forward and brace yourself against the door frame. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 to 5 times.

Shoulder circles

Shoulder circles are an excellent warm up exercise. Standing with your right hand on the back of a chair, allow your left arm to hang down. Circle your left hand 5 times in each direction. Repeat with the opposite arm 3 to 5 times.

Adding these few simple exercises into your daily routine will help relax and strengthen the muscles in the shoulder helping alleviate pain. It is always important to consult a physician before starting any exercise routine. As with all exercises and stretching routines it is important to start slow and build up resistance over time.

Dr. Roger Walker

Dr. Roger Walker is the Founder and COO of Valley Pain Centers in Phoenix, Arizona. Walker was also a practicing physician for over 25 years specializing in chiropractic and acupuncture.

Dr. Walker is a Fellow of the International Academy of Clinical Acupuncture.

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