While physical exercise is always good, the problem most faced by many people who don’t make exercise a consistent priority, is that they tend to overdo it by diving into the activity they love — like tennis or golf — often resulting in injury.
These busy people don’t necessarily have the luxury of daily training, leaving them open to injury when they give it their all.
One common injury we see from these intermittent athletes is shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is one of the most prevalent forms of musculoskeletal pain behind lower back pain and knee pain. Whether you’re pitching a softball, swinging a tennis racket, or pumping your arms while running, your shoulders are being active with you. And aches and strains can leave you with all-consuming pain in the process.
In this article, we will show you some simple exercises you can do that can help alleviate shoulder pain so that you can return to your favorite sports activities sooner.
Exercises for Shoulder Pain
If you’re experiencing pain or tightness in your shoulders after a weekend of exercise and fun, here are a few exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home to alleviate your discomfort:
- Chest Cross Stretch
This exercise helps increase your flexibility and range of motion. Simply bring your arm across your chest, resting it in the crease of your other arm for support. Hold the position for 1 minute, and repeat 3-5 times on each side.
- Neck Stretch
This stretch can help relieve tension from your neck and shoulders. Start by lowering your chin to your chest, letting the back of your neck stretch. Tilt your head to the left, stretching your right shoulder. Repeat 3-5 times on each side.
- Pendulum Swing
This stretch will let gravity help you with the hard work. Lean over and support yourself on a table or chair. Let your arm dangle straight down and draw circles in the air, starting small and then gradually growing. Repeat 5-10 times throughout the day.
- Chest Expansion
Grasp an exercise band, rope, or strap with both hands behind your back. Moving the shoulder blades toward one another while lifting your chin to the ceiling. Hold the position for 10-15 seconds 3-5 times.
- Seated Twist
Keeping your hips facing forward while sitting in a chair, twist your upper body to the right, and place the back of your left hand to your thigh. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds before repeating 3-5 times on each side.
Steps to Avoid Injury
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a point of cure. Preventing shoulder injuries in the first place is always preferable to dealing with the discomfort and pain that an injury can cause. In order to avoid paying the price on Monday morning for your weekend activity, try:
Before you engage in physical activity and even during the week when you’re more sedentary, stretching can help improve your flexibility and range of motion.
- Warming Up
Don’t jump into action without warming up your cold muscles first. Warm up your body with some mild exercise before giving your shoulders a workout.
- Ramping Up
Keep in mind that your endurance may not be the same as it was once before. Ramp up to increase your endurance by starting slow and then building up with more movement as the weeks go by.
If you notice a twinge of pain while you’re up and active, don’t think you can just push through it. Resting could mean the difference between a slight strain and a major injury.
Looking for physical therapy to help treat your shoulder pain so you can hit the tennis court or golf course again? Our professionals at South Orange Rehabilitation and Wellness can help you alleviate your pain, treat any injury and learn how to prevent further injury next time around. Contact one of our professionals to discuss how physical therapy can help you get active safely once again.