Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Rotator muscles are found to be extremely beneficial in alleviating shoulder pain. This physical therapy certainly works to improve flexibility of shoulder muscles.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Apr 27, 2018
Did You Know?
Daily exercise helps in improving your ability to tolerate pain. Simply put, regular exercise can increase your pain threshold.
Simple exercises can help you to relieve shoulder pain arising from day-to-day activities. Most patients with a sore shoulder, experience a great deal of improvement in their condition after regularly following an exercise routine. Even people affected with sports related injuries have to undergo a rehabilitation program in which they are advised to perform a set of exercises in order to reduce stiffness, strengthen the injured muscle, and facilitate quicker recovery.
Rotator Cuff Exercises
A rotator cuff consists of 4 muscles that join the arm to the shoulder bone and allows 360 degree movement of the arm. In most cases, the resulting shoulder pain is due to a rotator cuff injury. An exercise program is effective in improving the flow of blood in these muscles, thereby helping to reduce the pain.

In all the exercises mentioned below, you have to hold light weights and then perform the exercise slowly.
Forearm Swing
Forearm Swing
Lie on your stomach, on a bed, or a table. Position your affected arm with your elbow bent at a 90 degree angle at shoulder level. Bring the hand straight down. Try to raise your hand slowly up to the shoulder level. Lower your affected arm slowly. Repeat this procedure, until you feel tired. You can also do this exercise with your other arm.
Backhand Swing
Start doing this exercise by lying down on your right side. Place a folded towel below your left armpit. Your right arm should be straight and exactly above your head. The elbow of your left arm should be bent at a 90 degree angle and the forearm should rest against your chest with palm down. Raise the left forearm until it points towards the ceiling. This exercise is similar to a backhand swing in the game of tennis. Now, very slowly lower the left arm. Repeat this exercise as much as possible without straining your muscles. Then repeat this procedure using the right arm.
Arm Swing
Arm Swing
This exercise has to be performed while you are standing. Both the arms should be straight holding light weights. Raise your right arm, and bend it at a 45 degree, aligned with your body. Do not lift the weight beyond that level. Now lower the arm slowly. Repeat this exercise as long you are comforting doing it.
Other Exercises for Shoulder Pain
Apart from the other exercise routines mentioned above, one can also do the following exercises to relieve pain and restore full range of shoulder movement. Managing shoulder discomfort due to an injury is definitely possible with these exercises.
Assisted Flexion
Assisted Flexion
The assisted flexion exercise is yet another way to improve impaired shoulder movement. Firstly, lie on your back and then join your hands together, keeping the elbow straight. Now, slowly raise your arms, ensuring that the elbow does not bend. Keep on moving your arm until it is well above your head. The stretching action of the assisted flexion exercise certainly works to reduce the stiffness of the shoulder joint. Repeat this movement of arms 8 - 10 times or as long as you are comfortable doing it.
Shoulder Active Abduction
Shoulder Active Abduction
With the palm facing the body and elbows straight, begin to lift your arm sideways. Stop raising the arm when it is at a 90 degree angle to your body. Let the arm be in this position for a few seconds before finally moving the hand down to its original position. With each set consisting of 3 repetitions, perform 3 sets daily to control shoulder pain.
Pendulum Swing
Pendulum Swing
Start this exercise by leaning forward along the waist in such a way that your back is at a 90 degree angle to your legs. Allow your healthy arm to rest on a chair. Now with your injured arm freely hanging, firstly move it to-and-fro similar in motion to that of a pendulum. Do this 10 times and now switch over to another movement that involves moving the injured arm in a circular fashion. You can move your hand in both clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. Quite a few patients do these movements while holding light weights (approximately 2 pounds). Initially, you might not be comfortable holding the weight but with the passage of time as the pain subsides, there won't be any issue in using weights.
Hand Behind Back Exercise
Hand Behind Back Exercise
As the name suggests, the exercise involves touching the back with the hand. Although this is easy for an uninjured arm, it is not a simple task for an injured shoulder. Firstly, with your elbow bent and palm not facing the body, put your hand on the back. Now, in this position, try moving the hand upwards as much as possible. Be in this position for around 5 seconds and then slowly come back to the original position. Repeat this shoulder movement 10 times and perform this exercise routine at least twice a day.
Caution
Keep in mind that the main purpose of engaging oneself in these exercises is to reduce shoulder discomfort. However, if the exercise routine is not helping in any way to improve shoulder pain and in fact is aggravating discomfort, one must stop these shoulder exercises immediately and consult a doctor at the earliest. Also, one should not do any exercise before the first 48 hours after injury. Start the exercise routine only when you are comfortable moving the injured shoulder to a certain extent.
On the whole, relieving shoulder pain after injury is not difficult if physical therapy for shoulder pain is done regularly in a correct manner. It is indeed an easy way to reduce the duration of shoulder pain.
Bodybuilder Exercising Shoulders With Barbell
Female doing side shoulder fly
Woman holding a hand weight