Relieving Shoulder Pain with Our Recommended Exercise

shoulder pain

The shoulder, as the most complex joint in the human body, allows the arm to move in a variety of ways. The shoulder is made up of bones, tendons, ligaments and muscles that work together to give the arm mobility.

These parts that make up the shoulder sometimes get affected by injury, thereby causing pain and loss of mobility. The good news is that exercise is a proven way to lessen or completely eradicate shoulder pain. Before you use the following exercises to check your shoulder pain, please ensure you get medical advice if the pain persists long after its appearance.

Exercise Routines to Eliminate Shoulder Pain

Before starting any exercise routine, please ensure to stretch properly. You should also apply heating pads to the neck and shoulders to warm up the underlying tissues so that you will not injure yourself further.

1. Shoulder Release

Shoulder Release

  • Sit upright on a chair.
  • Drop your chin towards your chest until you feel the back of your neck begin to stretch.
  • Extend the stretched neck to the left and then to the right.
  • At the peak of these stretches, hold for one minute.
  • Breathe deeply and focus on.
  • Repeat 4-6 times.

2. Chest Expansion

For this exercise, you will need an exercise band. If you don’t have it, a rope or a strap will do.

– Put the strap, rope or band around you and grasp it with both hands in front of you. To intensify the stretch, you will need to place the hands holding the rope close together.

– While still firmly holding the strap, pull your shoulder blades towards each other.

– Raise your chin towards the ceiling as gently as you can.

– Hold the position and breathe deeply for 20 seconds

– Return to starting position and repeat 3-5 times.

3. Chest Stretch

Chest Stretch

  • Hold out the right hand, keeping it at waist level.
  • Use the left hand and reach behind the right elbow (still at waist level)
  • Pull the right arm across the chest towards the left shoulder.
  • If the movement causes pain, please lower the arm till the pain disappears.
  • Hold the movement at peak position for 30-60 minutes.
  • Repeat with the left arm.
  • You should do 3-5 repetitions on each arm.

4. The Cross Twist

 – Sit on a chair and bring your knees close together.

– Place your right hand on your left thigh and your left hand on your right thigh. Your arms should cross over your chest.

– Twist your upper body to the right and turn your face towards the direction of the movement, while gently pushing out the thigh opposite the direction of your movement.

– Hold the position and breathe in deeply for 20 seconds.

– Do same for the other shoulder.

– This exercise should be repeated 3-5 times.

5. Push-Ups

push ups

Pushups are one of the most popular exercises, as they strengthen the muscles in the upper body and core. It might be a little tricky trying to do push-ups with shoulder pain, but with a little modification, it can be used to fix the pain.

If your shoulders are too sore for floor push-ups, you can simulate the exercise by pushing away from the wall instead. A few reps of the exercise daily can improve the pain. You will only require a few reps daily, but you can increase the number of reps if you feel no strain to your injured shoulder. You should not experience pain from doing push-ups to strengthen your shoulders.

6. The Intensive Shoulder Stretch for Neck and Shoulder Pain

  • Stand about 1-2 inches away from a wall.
  • Raise your palms and place them on the wall.
  • Raise your arms and form a Y above your head (with arms still on the wall).
  • With arms still stretched up above, begin to shrug towards your ears till your neck shortens.
  • Continue to roll back and down.
  • Reverse the shrug till the neck lengthens.
  • Take arms of the wall.
  • Repeat 10 – 12 times, slowly.

7. Pilates and Yoga

Pilates and Yoga

It is a well-known fact that pilates and yoga can effectively build flexibility and strength. They are known to condition the body while using very minimal impact. For those suffering from shoulder pain, a little modification might be needed to make sure you do not end up straining the shoulders the more. A great yoga pose for shoulder pain is the downward dog.

Shoulder pain is a very common problem because it could be caused by a variety of factors. Sometimes the pain is an indicator of underlying medical issues, other times it could appear and disappear within days. Since shoulder pain is known to bring discomfort, knowing the right exercises to relieve the pain is important. Please note that before you exercise, you should do light stretches and also warm the affected area with heating pads.


Madison Brown received her graduate degree from the University of Iowa from the physical therapy program. As a therapist for over five years, she has treated many patients with pain or with many physical problems. Through her experience she has learned more along the way how to best serve her patients. Her patients come into her office with all sorts of pain from head to toe. She has always made it her goal to know all the latest techniques and devices to best treat the patient in front of her. She cares about people and works for the best for her patients.

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