The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. With our busy lives, tightness or stiffness in the shoulders is to be expected. Shoulder pain affects around 20% of people but can be easily relieved by adding a few stretches in your routine 3 to 6 times a week.
Most of these exercises can be done from home or work and only take a few minutes.
Start slowly and only push so far as you still feel comfortable in your movements. Muscles will gradually lengthen and become more flexible. You don’t want to strain or pull any muscles. So, ease up on the stretch if you feel discomfort.
Across the chest stretch – For this stretch, take your right arm and extend it out, then cross it over your chest and pull it towards you with your left hand. Pull gently, and you should feel the stretch in your right shoulder. Hold it for 1 minute, then switch to the other side and repeat several times.
Basic neck stretch – With your shoulders square, drop your chin down towards your chest, and then roll it to the right side towards your right shoulder. This should create a stretch in your left shoulder. Hold for 1 minute, then roll your head to the other side to reverse the stretch. This will loosen up the shoulders and the neck. Repeat 3-5 times.
Chest expansion stretch – For this one, you’ll need an exercise band or towel. Place hands behind your back, holding each end of the band or towel. Hold it taught, and stand upright. Ease your shoulders back, pushing your shoulder blades together while lifting your chin towards the ceiling. Raise the hands up behind you, and you should feel a stretch in the chest and the shoulders.
Seated twist – Another simple stretch. Sit with your ankles together and feet flat on the ground. Twist your body to the left, placing your right hand on the outside of your left thigh to gently push further. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. This movement will provide a stretch in the back as well as shoulders.
Simple shoulder circles – Stand with one hand on the back of a chair or against a wall, and let your other arm hang down limp. Circle your arm around clockwise, then counterclockwise three times. Repeat on the other side. This can be repeated up to 3 times a day.
Doorway shoulder stretch – Stand in the doorway. Bend your elbow so it is at a right angle. Place your hand and forearm against the inside of the doorway and hold it there while turning your body outward away from your hand. You should feel a stretch in the inside of that shoulder as well as your chest and core. Reverse on the other side.
Yoga Poses – Yoga can be great for the shoulders. Downward dog pose, child’s pose are simple poses that you can do to help stretch out the shoulders.
If your shoulder pain is more severe, you may need to go beyond basic stretches. Contact our clinic to find out about the treatment options available.