Shoulder Pain – Which Exercises Are Best?

a man with shoulder pain

If you’re active like I am, you’ll know that shoulder pain can really cramp your style.  You’ll be in the middle of something when a sudden and unexpected “ouch” can haul you up short.  Active or not, 75% of Americans will suffer with shoulder pain at some point in their lives.

And your shoulders are important.  They do more than give you something to hang your clothes on.  Taking care of your shoulders is important, but when you have shoulder pain – which exercises are best?

This post is all about the health and maintenance of your shoulders and what to do when pain strikes.

Shoulders are complicated!

As I said above, your shoulders are important.  They do a lot of heavy lifting for your body (quite literally).  Think about how many daily activities you perform using your shoulders and you’ll see what I mean.

Shoulders are also complicated.  You can hurt them in numerous ways.  An important thing to know about your shoulders is that all the major muscles in your upper body converge there.

There are many reasons for shoulder pain, but the root cause is almost always a poor understanding of how the body works, leading to improper movement of the shoulders and eventually, injury.

More flexibility=less pain

Limited flexibility may seem to be the result of whatever’s causing your shoulder pain, but those limitations may be the cause.  Maintaining flexibility in your shoulders as a habit is therefore very important.

To regain flexibility, stretching the shoulders can really help.  Using a stable surface (a coffee table, for example), get on your knees arm’s length away.  Then place your hands on the table, palms down.  Now, lower your upper body onto your knees (you’re sitting on heels, at this point).

As you perform this exercise, experiment.  Roll your shoulders up and then down, open your shoulder blades and then pull them together.  This stretch will greatly improve your flexibility and reduce your shoulder pain.

As you find the right method for using this stretch for your individual type of shoulder pain, hold each stretch for a count of 30.

Getting stronger

Muscle strength and mass is your first line of defense against disease and pain.  I cannot stress enough how important is to keep your muscles in good condition, for this very reason.  Strength isn’t always about how much weight you can lift or looking good on the beach.  Muscle strength and mass is good for your overall health and wellness.

Lie face down on a bench.  Extend your arm behind you, with the thumb turned up.  Now, raise and lower it, as you squeeze your shoulder blades together, with each repetition.  Do as many repetitions as you can, remembering to keep your routine sustainable.  Repeat on the other side, to maintain balance.

When you’re feeling stronger, add a handheld weight.  Remember – keep it sustainable.  What you do consistently is much more important than how heavy the weight is or how many reps you can do.

Still have shoulder pain?  Contact us.

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