6 Best Physical Therapy Exercises For Shoulder Pain

Physical Therapy exercises For Shoulder Pain

In this article, we will share with you some physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain because it is experienced by many in recent times owing to the unhealthy lifestyle prevalent today. These exercises will surely help you with pain and increase your mobility.

Shoulder pain happens when your shoulder becomes stiff, limiting your motion while also
causing some pain. Shoulder pain has become very common affecting up to 18-26 percent of adults.

Major Causes Of Shoulder Pain

There are many causes of shoulder pain, the most common among them can be overuse, instability, arthritis, impingement, and some other causes are:

1. Bicep Tendonitis

These tendons attach muscles of the bicep of the upper arm to the shoulder front. And when these tendons become pinched because of shoulder blade bone structure or ligaments of shoulder blade or collarbone, it can cause some pain.

Reasons For Shoulder pain

2. Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

The group of four muscles that supports shoulders are called the rotator cuff and the tendons get pinched it may cause inflammation that ultimately leads to pain.

3. Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is very common among adults. The shoulder becomes very stiff and loses
motion due to lack of use and fluids present it which help in movement. It may also happen
when a band of tissues grows in the joint region restricting the motion.

But fortunately, there are many physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain that can easily relieve tightness and pain in the shoulders if practiced carefully and regularly. But before learning about these physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain it is significant that
you know some tips that can immensely help you.

  • You should try making time to do these exercises at least 4 to 6 times per week to
    feel some results.
  • Bring awareness to your shoulder area and observe where tightness present is. Try to
    relax that area by releasing any tension present.
  • Start by 10 minutes every day and gradually increase the time of your physical therapy
    exercises for shoulder pain.
  • Always start with a warm-up that may include one minute of stretching and always cool
    down with stretching. This will increase efficiency and reduce fatigue.
  • Start with stretching, only till the point you can and are comfortable with. You will increase flexibility with the passage of time. But don’t over-exert yourself and push beyond
    limits. If done so these physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain can cause you more
    pain rather than curing it.
  • Don’t ignore pain whenever you feel it and contact your physician. Also if you are not
    sure about the procedure seek professional guidance.
  • Also, keep in mind if shoulder pain remains for more than two to three weeks then it is
    better to get some medical advice or go see a physical therapist.

Physical Therapy Stretches And Exercises

Karolina Grabowska

Now without any further wait let’s see some of the physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain.

  1. Pendulum

Pendulum stretch is one of the easiest and effective warm-up physical therapy exercises for
shoulder pain. You just need to lean over a table or chair with the support of one arm and let the affected arm hang down in front of your body.

Now form small circles with the suspended arm both clockwise and anticlockwise, 10 times
each. Gradually increase the size of the circle formed but only till the point it’s comfortable.
And when your symptom starts to improve try carrying a light object in the suspended arm and continue making circles.

Do this exercise two-three times per day whenever you feel like and you will definitely see some increased flexibility.

2. Cross-Body Stretch

As the name suggests cross-body stretch is stretching your arm across your chest. To begin with, bring your injured arm across your chest; now support your arm with the other hand. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds till you feel a slight stretch.

Repeat this with the other arm and do it 4 to 5 times with both hands. Like most shoulder
exercises this physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain will definitely increase your flexibility and movement of your shoulder joint.

From this exercise, you will feel stretch on the back of your shoulder. Always keep in mind to take a break whenever you feel pain in your arms or shoulders.

3. Neck Release

Among other physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain, neck release is a relatively easy one and you can do it any time. One just needs to be careful while doing it and not make any sudden movements as the neck is a very delicate part of the body.

The neck is connected to our shoulders so this stretch loosens tension in the neck and shoulder area. You can do it anytime, anywhere while sitting or standing in a comfortable position and back straight.

Neck Release
Karolina Grabowska

Lower your chin in direction of your chest as if you want to touch it. While doing so you will feel a stretch towards the back of your neck. When you have done that try to tilt your head towards the left as if trying to see your left armpit. This will produce a stretch in your right shoulder.

Now hold this position for a minute or till the time you can. Perform the same thing on the other side by stretching towards the right and you will feel pressure in your left shoulder. Do this practice four to five times and you will start to see some results.

5. Chest Expansion

Unlike other physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain, in this one, you will need the help of extra equipment but it can be easily found in your house. You need either a strap, exercise band, or a towel.

Now to perform this exercise stand on your feet with your back straight. Hold the towel or the strap with right and left hands behind the back. Now lift your hands upwards, this will broaden your chest and your shoulder blade will move towards one another, forming a stretch.

To complete the stretch lift your chin upwards to look at the ceiling. Hold this position till the time you can or at least for 30 seconds. For better results repeat it three to five times.
To deepen this stretch one must try to hold your hand as close as possible on the towel or the strap.

These types of physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain definitely increase the flexibility and motion of your shoulders.

6. Downward Dog

Some yoga poses can also come under physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain, one of
which is the popular downward dog pose. It strengthens the muscles of our back and shoulder.

To start this strengthening exercise go in a plank position. Then press your hands to lift your hips towards the ceiling. Keep your spine straight and look at your feet.

This will flex your shoulders. Maintain this position as long as you can to achieve greater benefits and to reduce pain in your shoulder complex.

Some Other Treatments

While there are many other physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain, there are some
treatments too that can help elevate pain.

Other Therapy
Heike Frohnhoff

1. Cold therapy

Also known as cryotherapy is a helpful treatment. There is this RICE model – Rest, Ice,
Compression, Elevation which is generally the first thing done after a sports injury. Based on this icing is encouraged to reduce inflammation that in turn would help in reducing pain to a greater level.

But remember ice therapy will only be helpful for the first 72 hours of gaining an injury. It reduces blood flow to the injured area thus diminishing the pain significantly.

2. Heat therapy

When you are done with ice therapy and pain is still present you can go for heat therapy but only when 72 hours have passed. As you may know, heat is famous to soothe and relax the muscles. That is why it will act as an effective pain killer.

3. Stretching

All the above-mentioned physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain involve stretching or
the need to stretch for doing the said exercise. It is the reason it is an effective treatment for shoulder pain.

Through stretching your muscles are pushed to their highest point giving you a range of motion. There are many stretches from easy to moderate that involve various body parts like shoulder, spine, and neck. If you want to know more about such stretches click here.

4. Change Your Work Lifestyle

Today’s age has forced people to work from behind a desk all day long which is the reason
behind many of the health problems. The most common of which is pain in parts of the body like knees, and shoulders.

These joints are accustomed to movements and when they are made to remain in the same
position for a very long time they become stiff. This causes pain and inflammation. So changing some habits like going for a walk after every few hours or doing some little exercise between works can help.

Physical Therapy Exercises For Shoulder Pain

These were some of the physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain along with other
treatments. If you practice them regularly then there are chances that will help with your pain. If the pain lasts for more than two weeks then it is advised to go see a specialist.

Click here for more such articles.

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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