Shoulder pain can make even the simplest of activities seem difficult. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, here are some exercises and treatments you can do at home to kickstart your recovery:
Overhead shoulder stretch:
Sit up in a chair with your knees together.
With your left hand on the outside of your right thigh, twist your torso, and look to your right.
Pay attention to your shoulder and make sure they are relaxed during this stretch.
Breathe into the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds.
Switch sides and repeat. Perform both sides 3 - 5 times.
Bend at the waist and allow the arm on your injured side to hang down.
Keeping your neck relaxed, move your arm in a full circle.
Repeat for 20 repetitions.
Arm across the chest stretch:
Pull the arm on your injured side across your chest by reaching behind the elbow.
If you feel pain in your shoulder, lower your arm until you reach a better position.
Hold this stretch for 30 - 60 seconds.
Repeat 3 - 5 times a day.
Sit up straight and bring your chin to your chest.
Stretch each shoulder by leaning your head to the opposite side; hold for up to one minute.
Focus on your breath and relax into the stretch.
Begin by lying face down with both palms down on the back of your head.
Straighten the arms; your body should look like a Y-shape.
Circle your arms down to your side, flipping the palms when you can no longer keep them facing up.
Meet your hands in the center of your lower back.
Reverse by circling your arms back up into the starting position.
Repeat for 10 repetitions.
Kneel with your feet together and your knees wider than hip-width apart.
Sit back on your heels and fold your upper body forward, extending the arms.
Press your shoulder and chest to the ground for a more intense stretch.
Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds (it’s so comfortable that we’re sure you’ll be here longer!)
Upper trapezius stretch:
A cold compress can help to numb sharp pains and reduce inflammation.
Wrap your cold pack in a soft towel and apply to the shoulder for up to 20 minutes at a time.
Repeat up to 5 times a day.
Get a tennis ball or a similar object.
If you want to stand, stand against a wall, and lean into the ball or roll it around to relieve tension.
If you prefer to lay down, place the ball between you and the ground and apply pressure/roll it.
Experiment! Try some different positions and see what is best for you.
Most shoulder pain is not indicative of a more serious condition, but here are some signs that you should seek medical attention:
You’re unable to raise your arm.
You experience pain while resting.
You’re unable to use your arm/carry things.
Your shoulder is swelling or significantly bruised.
You’re experiencing unusual additional symptoms accompanying your pain (trouble breathing, other pains, fever, etc.)
Pain does not get better within a few days.
These home remedies can be great for relieving tension and tightness, but there are other treatment options for shoulder pain. In physical therapy, we work with patients on stretching and strength training. but we also offer many other modalities such as electrical muscle stimulation, cryotherapy, moist heat, ultrasound therapy, and massage. If you're looking for rehab with results to end your pain, schedule an appointment with us today!