With the hustle and bustle of our lives, it’ll be a surprise if you haven’t ever experienced an aching shoulder (shoulder pain). A painful shoulder does not mean that the source of this discomfort is the shoulder itself. The pain could stem from the neck or could result from an alignment issue in the pelvis. It could even happen because of an ankle injury.
Shoulder pain can result from various lifestyle mistakes we make daily. The obvious one being stress. Yes, stress is the most common cause of an aching shoulder. Stress, as many would say, is something that only affects our mental performance. But surprisingly, it does have physical repercussions.
Sitting in one position for prolonged periods is one reason your shoulder and neck get affected. With that, another cause of shoulder pain is that of a poor posture. Thanks to the influence of technology, you can’t run away from the forward-head posture. This posture results from staring at your laptop/television/smartphone’s screens for far too long. This posture exerts immense pressure on your neck followed by a discomfort in the neck/shoulder.
To get rid of the aching shoulder and live a pain-free life, you must indulge in the following 5 exercises. These exercises are not just easy but will show quick results. If the pain is recurring, schedule an appointment with a trusted shoulder surgeon.
Since most of our time is spent on desks, be it at school, college or at work, you can conveniently follow the Desk Angel’s exercise whenever on a desk. Start with sitting on a chair – make sure your back is straight. A good posture is a must for this exercise. So, once the posture is in place, follow it by stretching your hand as if you’re trying to touch the ceiling or say, reaching for the stars (in broad daylight!). Be strong with the posture and maintain a stationary torso while moving your stretched arms back and forth. When moving your arms, make sure your arms reach behind your head.
This movement will exert a slight pressure on your back. This will in turn help ‘unknot’ the stiff back muscles and extend your spine. Repeat this movement at least ten times a day for effective results that too on a short notice.
As mentioned earlier, shoulder pain might result from a stiff neck. It is important you also perform the neck release exercise to cushion the aching shoulder. This exercise is fairly simple and can be performed anywhere, anytime.
To make most of this exercise, start off with a straight posture. Once you’re sitting up straight, move your chin towards the chest to feel the stretch at the back of your neck. Now move your head towards your right shoulder and then towards the left shoulder. This stretch must last at least a minute, to begin with on each direction. Another important aspect of this exercise is to breathe as deeply as possible so that the stretch is relaxing as opposed to being just plain painful. For better results, repeat the stretch 3-5 times until the pain subsides.
To switch it up further and exert more pressure, you can extend your arms on each side. This exercise is also known as the upper trapezius stretch.
This exercise differs slightly from the ones mentioned above. This one could be done anywhere but you must have an exercise band. In case you don’t have a band, a rope, strap or even a tie would work. Hold the band behind your back with both hands. While holding the strap, move your shoulder blades towards each other and slowly and gradually lift your chin towards the ceiling. Breathe deeply and hold the exercise for 10 to 15 seconds and release with ease. Repeat 3 to 5 times daily for effective and lasting results. Chest expansion exercise gets rid of shoulder pain.
For this stretch, the first thing you should do is to wear a deodorant. This exercise requires you to stretch and smell your armpit, so let’s not take any chances and perform it when no one’s around. Like all the others, start it off with a straight back which means a proper posture. Now move your head or rather nose towards your armpit such that you’re smelling it. Make sure the movement is slow to avoid further discomfort and don’t be too rigorous with it.
To exert pressure on the left shoulder, smell your right armpit and to feel the pull on your right shoulder, reach for the left armpit! Hold it on each side for not more than 10 seconds and repeat it twice for effective results.
The 90, 90 Shoulder Stretch
This exercise is all about those angles. Make sure you perform this stretch when you’re not expecting someone as this will require you to stand in the doorway. Stand with your feet placed firmly on the floor and hold your arms up to get your elbow at a 90 degrees angle. With that, make sure your arm forms a 90 degrees angle with your body at the shoulder. Once you’re in that position, place your hands on the door frame and move a step ahead. Lean forwards against the door frame. Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat it 2 to 3 times as per your requirement.
To ease the discomfort, perform the exercises mentioned above. Be consistent to feel the difference real quick. Shoulder pain has no place with these exercises.
James Crook is a passionate health and fitness blogger. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for Dr. Joe Wilson, Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon Raleigh. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.