Many people suffer from shoulder pain, caused by repetitive movement, sports injuries and wear and tear. Sometimes, they’re unaware that certain exercises can help them. Sometimes, they’re afraid to move, thinking it will make the pain worse.
What I always tell patients coming to me with shoulder pain is that they can do much to help themselves with consistent daily exercises to address it. Many tend to respond that they’ll need surgery eventually, so why not just get it done.
Are they crazy?
Surgery amounts to a physical trauma. And by the way, surgery isn’t some magical silver bullet that’s going to instantly correct the issue. You’re still going to have to rehabilitate the joint with exercise. The thing is that once you’ve had surgery, you will have to treat the joint with even more care and attention.
So, let’s talk about the sane, conservative way to address shoulder pain – with self-care.
For this exercise, you’ll need a handheld weight of no more than 2.5 pounds. Remember to do both sides and not just the side on which you’re experiencing shoulder pain.
With a straight arm, lean slightly forward, supporting yourself with the opposite hand. Allow your arm to swing freely. Don’t shrug or engage your shoulder in any way. Just let it swing. Do this back and forth and from side to side. The movement should be effortless. Doing this several times each day will improve your flexibility and relieve at least some of the pain.
This strengthening exercise requires a Thera-Tube or other latex exercise band. They’re inexpensive and can be used for a wide range of exercises.
Anchoring the exercise band to the hinged side of a door, visualize a clock and the hours of 12, 3, 6 and 9. Now pull the band at each of the four “times”. A slow, deliberate motion provides maximum results. Perform three repetitions at each point of the clock.
Remember not to push yourself too hard and to stop performing the exercise if your shoulder protests.
One of the most effective exercise habits you can ever develop is a planking habit. This exercise comes to us from the world of Yoga. Try it when you’re feeling stronger and ready to push yourself a little further along.
An unstable surface is best for this exercise, as it forces you to continually adjust your posture. Your bed is the perfect place to do this. Lie face down, raising up on your elbows and your toes. Your hands can be flat and extended straight out or clasped in front of you.
Concentrate on forming a straight line with your body, pushing back with your heels and pulling in your abdominal muscles. Tighten your glutes. Start at 20 seconds and add time as you become stronger.
Try these movements before considering shoulder surgery and discover the power of helping yourself. Surgery is not always the answer.
If you continue to suffer from shoulder pain, contact me. We’ll get you fixed up!