Use These Exercises to Ease Shoulder Pain and Stress
October 20th, 2020
Use These Exercises to Ease Shoulder Pain and Stress
Are you experiencing shoulder pain and stress? Drop your shoulders, release that tension and relax with these calming exercises.
Shoulder injuries are one of the most common joint issues people face. In fact, between 16% and 26% of American adults suffer from shoulder pain and stress.
And these conditions don’t impact just one type of person. It’s a pervasive joint injury that affects individuals of all ages and with diverse occupations and backgrounds – from construction workers to hairstylists to pharmacists.
Depending on the type of injury and level of pain, there are various treatments available: pain medication, muscle relaxers, steroids, even surgery. But have you considered exercise?
You can take matters into your own hands by trying calming exercises to release tension in your shoulders and relieve pain. You can do them several times a week for a few minutes, gradually increasing the number of times you exercise and the length of time as your pain reduces, and you increase your strength. Here are a few shoulder exercises to consider.
Shoulder rolls are a simple exercise to start with. First, determine whether you’re going to sit or stand while doing them, and then straighten out your posture.
Once you’re sitting or standing straight, roll your shoulders up, back, and then down. Repeat this shoulder motion ten times. You can also do the opposite movement: rolling your shoulders up, forward, and then down ten times.
Assess how you’re feeling after the first set. Based on this, you might choose to perform several sets of shoulder rolls.
Standing Arm Swings
Standing arm swings are excellent for increasing blood flow to your shoulder joint. Another benefit is that they also help improve mobility in your shoulders and upper back.
First, you should stand up straight, keeping your arms at your sides. Brace and tighten your core muscles as you swing your arms forward. Swing them as high as you can without raising your shoulders. Then, slowly return your arms to your side.
The entire motion should take you 30 to 60 seconds to be effective. Repeat this movement ten times and perform several sets if you’re physically able to do so.
Upper Trapezius Stretch
The group of muscles spanning your upper back, shoulders, and neck is called the trapezius. This stretch targets that large area.
You can perform this stretch when sitting or standing. You should place one hand on your lower back. Place your other hand on the opposite side of your head.
Then, you’ll slowly pull your head in toward your shoulder. While doing this, continue looking straight ahead. Keep pulling your head until you feel the stretch in your neck.
Keep this hold for at least 30 seconds – longer if you’re able to. Then, repeat it on the other side of your neck. Do these several times on each side if you’re comfortable.
Cross-body Shoulder Stretch
While standing or sitting – and maintaining good posture – use your hand to grab the opposite arm just above your elbow. Then, pull that arm across your body. Pull it toward your chest until you feel a stretch in your shoulder.
It’s important to remember to keep your elbow lower than your shoulder during this stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Then, you should stretch your other arm. Repeat both arms several times, if possible.
Another way to strengthen your shoulders and increase mobility is through shoulder rotation exercises. To start, stand with your back to the wall and your shoulder blades in a neutral, resting position. Raise both of your out 90 degrees, making sure the sides of your biceps are touching the wall.
Then, turn your right arm upward, while keeping your elbows in place. Turn your arm until the back of your right hand is touching the wall. At the same time, turn your left arm downward, touching the wall with your left palm.
Switch your arms back and forth. When your right arm is up, your left should be down, and vice versa. With each rotation, hold the stretch for about 30 seconds. And you must keep your arms as close to 90 degrees as possible.
Relieve tension in your neck and shoulders through this neck release stretch. First, simply lower your chin, moving it toward your chest. As you do this, you’ll feel the back of your neck stretching.
Tilt your head slightly to the left, holding it for up to one minute. That will stretch your right shoulder. After one minute, repeat the stretch on your other side. Repeat this stretch on both sides up to five times.
If you’re looking for a deeper stretch, you can elevate it by placing one hand on your shoulder and your other hand above your ear. Then, use your hands to gently guide the motion as you lower your chin to your chest. Tilt your head to the left and hold for up to one minute, then to the right and hold. You should feel a deeper stretch than if you weren’t using your hands to pull your head gently.
Child’s Pose Stretch
This yoga stretch targets your neck, back, and shoulder muscles. To start, kneel, keeping your knees apart a bit further than the width of your hips. Your feet should be together behind you.
Sit back on your heels and then bend your body forward so that your stomach touches your thighs. As you do this, extend your arms in front of you. Try to touch your forehead to the floor. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat several times.
To elevate the stretch and feel it deeper in your muscles, attempt to press your chest and shoulders to the ground. If you need additional comfort during this stretch, kneel on a yoga mat or other cushion.
Want to Relieve Your Shoulder Pain and Stress?
If you’re looking to relieve shoulder pain and stress, these exercises and stretches should help. You should also work with a healthcare professional, though.
Contact our team at Nick Roselli Occupational Therapy to improve mobility and flexibility in your shoulder and to free yourself of pain.