I suffer from occasional shoulder pain – especially when I have overdone it in the gym or on the tennis court. I especially notice it when I try to lie on my side and go to sleep.
Although not as common or as serious as back pain (I’ve recently published a full guide on back pain relief), I think that many of you will
be glad to discover how to avoid and treat shoulder pain.
If you would like to know more about common causes, symptoms, daily habits to prevent shoulder pain and more. Check my complete guide about Shoulder Pain Relief here.
Of course, if you have serious shoulder pain, and your doctor has prescribed them, some pain medication may be necessary but, and wherever possible, I recommend you try and deal with your pain with exercise. Here are five of my favorite shoulder pain exercises.
1. One minute shoulder stretch sequence
Lack of time can make it hard to find opportunities to stretch your shoulders. This 60-second sequence is the perfect antidote when you are short of time but still need to stretch your shoulders. Each stretch, although only held briefly, targets different parts of your shoulders to help alleviate stiffness. If you have got more time, you can hold each one for 30-60 seconds to make this series of stretches even more effective.
2. Shoulder dislocations
Contrary to the name of this exercise, you won’t really be dislocating your shoulders; that would be painful and crazy! Instead, this exercise moves your shoulders through a wide range of motion to stretch and mobilize them, as well as increasing synovial fluid production to nourish and lubricate your joints. You can do this exercise with a towel or with a broomstick as preferred. Just try and move your hands a little closer together as the weeks pass.
3. Wall angels
This exercise is a very good posture exercise that is also good for your shoulders. By pulling back and resetting your upper back and shoulder girdle, you eliminate many of the causes of shoulder pain. If you find this exercise hard, and I know I did at first, you can do it lying on the floor which is much easier. Do it daily to fix your posture and your shoulders at the same time!
4. Band pull Aparts
This is probably my favorite shoulder pain preventing exercise. It works the muscles between your shoulder blades which are responsible for keeping your shoulders back and in good alignment. This puts your shoulder joints in the best possible position for optimal, pain-free function. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or driving, this exercise is for you. You’ll need a resistance band for this exercise but, at no more than a couple of dollars, this is a very good investment.
5. External rotations
Many incidences of shoulder pain are caused by weak external rotators – the muscles that turn your upper arms outward. Sitting at a desk all day and too many push-ups can cause this. Using nothing more than a cheap resistance band, you can fix this problem in just than a few minutes a day. It’s also a good exercise for your posture. I keep a resistance band in my desk at work so I can do this exercise every couple of hours to break up long periods of sitting.