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Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Your physical therapist will perform an evaluation to determine both the source and the cause of your symptoms. Below, is a list of exercises that might assist you in relieving your shoulder pain while you await your appointment. If any exercise causes you more pain, discontinue the exercise and ask your physical therapist for assistance.

Exercises for Shoulder Pain


 Breakdown of Exercises for Shoulder Pain


1. Wall Angels

For this exercise, you will have 5 points of body contact with the wall. Position yourself with your butt, mid-back, head, elbows, and hands against the wall. While maintaining these 5 points of contact, slide your hands up the wall. Do not let your head leave the wall! If you have any pain in your low back, try moving your feet further away from the wall to take stress off your back. This exercise is GREAT for POSTURE! Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions or 10 reps every 2-3 hours.


2. Single and/or Double Arm Row

Use a band or cable press and stand in split stance position (one foot in front of the other). Perform a double arm row bringing your elbows toward your side. Squeeze shoulder blades together at end of motion as you are bringing elbows to your side. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions.


3. Prone Y’s and T’s

Lay face down on a bench with your arms relaxed toward the floor. If you do not have a bench, you can lay on side of bed and perform 1 arm at a time. With your palms facing the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down until your arms make a “Y” overhead. Repeat this exercise with your arms making a “T” at shoulder height (see below). Perform sets of 12 Y’s and 12 T’s. You should feel the muscles in your middle back working.


4. Foam Roller on Wall

Start by placing the foam roller on the wall at about face level. Put your wrist/forearms on foam roller and start gently rolling foam roller up the wall.  At the top of the motion, try leaning in towards the wall bringing your chest close to the wall. Hold for about 3 seconds at the top. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions.


5. Plank to Downward Dog

Start in a push-up position with your core muscles engaged. Slowly push from your shoulder blades until you reach a downward dog position. Hold each position (plank and downward dog) for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times. You should feel the muscles in your core and around your shoulder blade working.


6. External Rotation

Place a towel under your elbow against your side. With elbow pinned at your side and bent to 90 degrees, pull the band across your body, starting near belly button and moving away from body. Throughout the motion, keep your elbow pinned at your side and your shoulder blade pinned down and back. Do not roll shoulder forward. Perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions.


Exercises for Shoulder Pain Video

We know it helps for many people to have a visual, so here is a video displaying some effective exercises to help with shoulder pain.


Find Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

By incorporating these exercises into your daily regimen, you will start to develop the muscles that have been causing your pain. Also, here are additional stretches for shoulder pain that are effective in loosening you up for your exercises. Be sure to reach out to our team here at Impact Physical Therapy and schedule your evaluation today!

published on Friday, November 16th, 2018