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6 Simple Stretches for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is not uncommon. In fact, it is so common, most of us tend to overlook the problem and think that it is something that will eventually work itself out. Unfortunately, the longer your shoulder pain goes unchecked, the bigger the problem may become. If you experience pain and tightness in the shoulder, there are some solutions you can do at home to help relieve your chronic pain.

Stretching your shoulders can improve your flexibility, relieve tension, and restore function. Here is a list of some highly effective stretches to ease your shoulder pain:

  • Shoulder Rolls: This stretch is one of the most effective at relieving tension.
    • Start by standing up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Let your arms loosely hang by your sides.
    • Gently roll your shoulders forward, then upward, then backwards in a fluid motion.
    • Repeat these steps up to 10 times, then reverse from back to front.
  • Arm Circles: This stretch helps improve flexibility and relieves tense muscles.
    • To start, make sure you have enough space to hold your arms straight out to the sides.
    • Standing up with your back straight, stretch your right arm out directly in front of you.
    • Motion in a circular movement, lift your arm straight up without bending at the elbow, and rotate it all the way back to the original starting position.
    • Repeat up to 10 times on each side.
  • Wide Leg Forward Bends: This exercise helps relax your shoulders.
    • Start by standing with your feet wide apart.
    • Stretching your arms back behind you, place the palms of your hands together, and interlock your fingers.
    • Opening up your chest, gently bend forward at the hips while slowly lifting your locked hands over your head.
    • Only bend as far as you can without strain.
    • Hold here for a few seconds before returning to your upright position.
  • Ear to Shoulder: This is among the most basic of stretches to relieve pain.
    • This stretch can be performed sitting or standing
    • Start by bending your head towards your right shoulder, trying to touch it with your right ear.
    • Gently apply a slight amount of pressure to your left temple to deepen the stretch.
    • Hold for a few seconds until you feel the muscles in the neck and shoulder stretching.
    • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Cross-Arm Stretch: Although a relatively easy stretch, it is a highly effective one.
    • Start by standing up straight and stretching your right arm across the chest without bending.
    • Using the left arm, gently pull the right arm until you feel a slight stretch in the right shoulder.
    • Hold in this position for a few seconds before releasing.
    • Repeat on the left side.
  • Threading the Needle: This stretch helps relieve back, neck, and shoulder tension.
    • Start on the floor on all fours with your hands directly under the shoulders and your knees directly under your hips.
    • Slowly lift your right hand and bring it under your left arm on the floor with your palm facing up.
    • Rest your body on the right shoulder, and turn your head to the left.
    • Be sure you’re not sinking into the shoulder, and hold for up to 30 seconds.
    • Slowly release and come back to the starting position.
    • Repeat on the other side.

While these exercises can generally be performed in the comfort of your home, be sure to consult with your physician before adding new physical activity to your routine. If tightness and pain persist, be sure to seek medical attention as there may be a more serious issue.

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