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Shoulder Pain Exercises

Shoulder injuries can be painful, limit your mobility and be slow to heal. The shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in your body and injuring either your bones, tendons, muscles or ligaments can limit movement and cause extreme pain. The group of muscles that stabilize the shoulder and allow it to move is called the rotator cuff and it is the most commonly injured part of your shoulder. Thankfully, most shoulder injuries heal within a couple of weeks. Doctors often recommend some rest for the first couple of days following the injury or onset of the pain and the slowly start introducing exercise and stretches.

Shoulder Pain Exercises and Stretches:

Chest expansion. Put an exercise band behind your back holding one end in each hand. Bring your shoulder blades closer together and gently lift your chin towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath and hold for 10 seconds. Release. Repeat 5 times.

Seated twist. Sit on a chair with a straight back and your knees together. Twist your torso to the left, placing your right hand on the outside of your left thigh. Relax your shoulders as you face left. Take a deep breath and hold for 10 seconds. Release. Repeat 5 times.

Door lean stretch. Stand in a doorway with both arms on each side of the frame slightly above your head. Lean forward until you feel the stretch in the front of your shoulders. Hold this position for 15 seconds and come back up. Repeat 3 times. If you have shoulder impingement, this exercise is not recommended.

Door press outward stretch. Stand in a doorway with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle and the back of your hand against the door frame. Try to push your arm against the door frame for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Door press inward stretch. Stand in a doorway with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle and your palm touching the opposite side of the doorframe. Try to push your arm against the door frame for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

External rotation. Lie down on the side of your uninjured arm. Bend the elbow of your injured arm at 90 degrees resting your forearm across your stomach. Holding a light dumbbell and with your elbow maintaining contact with your side, raise the dumbbell towards the ceiling. Hold the position for 2 or 3 seconds and bring your arm back down. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Rows. Tie a resistance band to something sturdy at or above shoulder height. Get down on the knee of the side of your injured arm making sure your lowered knee is aligned with your shoulder. Rest your other hand on your raised knee. Grab the band with your arm outstretched and pull your elbow towards your body. Return to the start position. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Lawn mower pull. Stand with your feet apart at shoulder width. Place one end of a resistance band under the foot on the side of your uninjured shoulder. Hold the other end of the resistance band with your injured arm so the band crosses your body diagonally. Bend slightly at the waist and keep your arm straight. Straightening your waist upright, pull your elbow to your outside ribs as if starting a lawn mower in slow motion. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you come up straight.  Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.