In an ideal world, our shoulders would carry the weight of all the figurative and literal burdens without tiring out, but, in a real-world, we all know that is a far-fetched fantasy. So, like all body parts, our shoulders ask for some attention, especially when they are in pain. Most of us would try to kill any kind of body pain with over the counter pain killers until we know that there is a healthier alternative- exercise!
Exercises for shoulder pain may not be a convenient option for all, but we assure you that if you try, you will not be disappointed with the results! After all, exercising is the best gift you can ever give your body. This article aims at taking at least one worry off your shoulders by telling you all about the convenient exercises for shoulder pain! Read on to know everything about these handy exercises.
Reasons why your shoulder are paining
Our shoulders are not just one bone or joint; they are a combination of many muscles, tendons, and ligaments that help their movement and stability. Prolonged pain in shoulders and the area surrounding them like shoulder blade or scapula, neck, clavicle, humerus and the spine’s thoracic region can make carrying out everyday activities like lifting groceries, a daunting task.
Typically, the reasons underlying shoulder pain are not a cause of concern. However, there is no harm in learning about some of the causes that might require a medical professional’s attention, and these causes are
- Health conditions like overusing the shoulders, arthritis, shoulder instability, impingement and likeness are rather common causes of shoulder pain.
- A condition known as the rotator cuff tendonitis, where the rotator cuff, a group consisting of four muscles that support and help the shoulder in movement, get pinched under the shoulder blade. This condition results in inflammation and pain in the shoulders.
- If the person is suffering from biceps tendonitis, a condition where the tendon attaching upper arm bicep muscles to the shoulder’s front, gets pinched due to the shoulder blade or the ligaments connecting shoulder blade to the collarbone. It can result in sharp shoulder pains.
- Another condition known as bursitis which is caused when the bursa between the shoulder blade and humerus, a fluid sac enabling the smooth gliding of muscles over one another, gets pinched, resulting in shoulder pains.
- Adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulders is a condition that also leads to shoulder pains and permanent loss of motion in the shoulders due to decreased activity in shoulders.
Shoulder pain relief exercises
It should be kept in mind that these exercises cannot single-handedly cure the conditions we just mentioned above. If your pain persists for longer than a week, it is advisable to either seek medical care or see a physical therapist. You should also not push yourself beyond the limit of comfort and stop as soon as you feel the pain that you cannot bear.
Let us go through each of these exercises that will ease your journey towards painless shoulders, one by one
1. Do a cross-body stretch with your arms across your chest
This exercise can also help to enhance the flexibility of shoulders and movement if done regularly.
- Assume a stand-at-ease position without keeping your hands on the back.
- Stretch your right arm in front of you
- Move your arm in front of your chest in a way that it makes a cross with the rest of the body
- Hold your right arm with the left forearm to offer support
- Stretch your right arm in the left direction as much as you can
- Hold this position for at least 20 seconds and repeat with the left arm.
- Do this exercise at least 3-5 times.
2. Try neck release
This exercise will also help to relax the tension build-up in your shoulders and neck.
- Sit straight and look in front of you,
- Slowly lower your chin till it touches your neck
- Gently tilt your head towards your right shoulder
- Slowly move the head backwards and then tilt it towards the left shoulder
- Keep doing this rotation in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions for at least three to five minutes.
You can also deepen this stretch by using your hands to bend the neck sideways.
3. Do chest expansion
You will need extra material like an exercise band or a towel to perform this exercise. It can also help to enhance the flexibility of the shoulders.
- Stand straight and hold an exercise band behind you with both your hands.
- Lift your arms behind you and expand your chest
- Lift your chin upward so that you are staring at the ceiling
- Repeat this exercise for at least 4-5 times by holding the position for at least 30 seconds each time.
4. Rolling the shoulders
- Stand straight with a little distance between your feet.
- Lift your shoulder upward towards your ears while inhaling
- Move the shoulders backwards and try to bring the shoulder blades closer to each other.
- Drop your shoulders while exhaling and stretch your arms in front of you to relax
- Do 8-10 sets of this exercise
5. Try a cow face pose or Gomukhasana
- Stand in a relaxed position with your feet at hip’s width or sit in a cross-legged position.
- Raise your right hand, bend it by the elbows and stretch it backwards
- Hold your stretched right hand with your left hand and stretch it
- Maintain this position while deep breathing
- Repeat this process at least four times with both the hands.
The outlook of exercises for shoulder pain
There are many more exercises like a thread the needle, child’s pose, downward-dog pose, shoulder circles, seated twist, eagle arms or spinal rolls, ragdoll pose, child’s pose, pendulum stretch and likeness that will help ease your shoulder pain.
We always say that exercise is the enemy of all your body’s woes. These exercises will not only help relieve your shoulder pain but will also help to make them stronger than before! We hope just reading this article lessened some of the pain in your shoulders!
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