Shoulder Pain Exercises - Exercises to Reduce Shoulder Pain


How to Reduce Shoulder pain with Exercises

Exercises for shoulder pain are based on the anatomy of your shoulder. The shoulder is a complex joint of three bones with joints, muscles, bursae, and connecting tendons and ligaments.

Major causes of shoulder pain include joint dislocation or bone fracture, joint deterioration from overuse or aging (arthritis), frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), nerve impingement, inflammation of the bursa sac (bursitis), or rotator cuff (the muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder) problems.

Shoulder exercises address these problems in different ways.

Consult a Physician before you do try these exercises

You will need to consult your medical provider and physical therapist before starting exercises to target the problem and avoid making it worse. The goal of shoulder pain exercises is to increase mobility, flexibility, and strength, and to restore to desired functioning. The best treatment is always prevention, and the same exercises that you use to treat shoulder pain can be used to build strength and conditioning.

Shoulder Pain Exercises

The following exercises for shoulder pain should never be done past the point of pain.

The basic recipe for all orthopedic pain and injury is still RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Rest and ice are essential for shoulder recovery.

One common mistake is to overprotect the joint. Another is to push past the point of pain and re-enter the sport or work activity too early. Things take time, and this is certainly true with shoulder pain.

It is important to stretch and warm up before you begin. Exercises should be done daily and consistently.

Ice your shoulder after exercising to decrease pain and inflammation. Your medical provider will direct you in the initial use of oral and topical anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) in the initial treatment phase of shoulder pain.

Plan for several months of recovery based on the cause of your shoulder pain.

*Shoulder stretches

a. Stand in a room corner. Keep your feet hip-width apart and raise one arm out to the side against the wall. Turn into the opposing wall until you feel the pull. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch arms and direction. Do twice a day.

b. Place your palms on the wall and "walk" up the wall with your fingertips. Hold for 10 seconds. Do 3 sets.

*Shoulder circles: Stand straight with your abdominal muscles tightened. Roll your shoulders forward in a full, smooth circle, then backwards. Repeat 3 times, twice daily.

*Arm circles: Make small arm circles forward and backwards on each side. Gradually widen the circles. This is best done in a warm water pool or while lying facedown on a bed with your arm hanging over the side. Do 10 forward and backward.

*Shoulder extension: Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your back flat. Keep your arms close to your body and slowly raise them over your head until they touch the floor and your thumbs meet. Repeat 3 times.

*Shoulder strengthening:

a. Place your palms on a wall with your feet apart. Push away from the wall slowly. Repeat 5 times for a count of five. Do 2 sets.

b. Sit upright in a chair with arms. Slowly push yourself up from the seat and hold for a count of five. Do 2 sets.

You can add weights and pulls to your shoulder pain exercises as you gain mobility and flexibility.

Back to top of Shoulder pain Exercises. recommend Rotator Cuff Training Guide for pain-reduction and strengthening exercises.