Best 5 Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is common amongst all ages and activity levels. As the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body it is also the most susceptible to injury. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint held together by strong ligaments sounded by a strong fibrous sleave called the capsule. A group of four muscles known as the rotator cuff help control and move the shoulder along with their tendons.

There are various causes of shoulder pain, with the majority improving with conservative treatments. However, if the pain last more than a couple of weeks it could be related to an underlying issue. Some of the issues related to shoulder pain include:

  • Rotator cuff injuries: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that attach the shoulder blade to the upper arm bone. Injury or overuse of these muscles can cause pain and weakness in the shoulder.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of the small sacs of fluid that cushion the joints, known as bursae. Inflammation of the bursae in the shoulder can cause pain and tenderness.
  • Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition where the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. It can be caused by injury, overuse, or underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.
  • Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the cartilage in the joints, including the shoulder joint. It can cause pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion in the shoulder.
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons that connect muscles to bones, in this case the rotator cuff tendons. It can cause pain and tenderness in the shoulder, especially during movement.
  • Shoulder impingement: Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendons or bursae in the shoulder become compressed between the bones of the shoulder joint. This can cause pain and discomfort during movement.
  • Fractures: Fractures, or breaks, in the bones of the shoulder can cause pain, swelling, and limited mobility. Luckily we don’t see them too often.
  • Dislocation: Dislocation occurs when the bones of the shoulder joint are forced out of their normal position. This can cause intense pain and limited mobility

Treatment of shoulder pain depends on the severity of symptoms and the underlying issue. Conservative treatment like pain medication, activity modification, rest and exercise can help to improve symptoms. For more severe pain, or if the pain is due to an underlying medical condition such as arthritis, more rigorous treatments may be necessary. This can include physiotherapy to help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder, corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain, or surgery to repair or replace damaged tissue.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, it is important to seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment. Ignoring shoulder pain can lead to further damage and potentially long-term injury. At Surrey Physio we have experienced physiotherapist and osteopaths that can help you get back to what you love doing the best. We use a combination of manual therapy and exercises to help you achieve your goals.

We have come up with the top 5 exercises we think could help you shoulder pain. Give them a go!!

Wash on, wash off exercise.

Draw circles with your arm in a clockwise movement, and then an anti-clockwise movement, as if you were wiping a car windscreen or a window. This exercise is a useful mobility exercise for the shoulder.

Try 30 seconds one way then the other 4 times 3 times daily

Isometric door frame rotator cuff strengthening

Tuck your elbow in, keeping it next to your body, and resist the movement of your arm inwards towards your stomach by pulling against a door frame. Your arm should not move. This is an important strengthening exercise for the rotator cuff shoulder muscles.

Hold between 5-10 seconds, repeat 6-10 times 3 times daily

Improve shoulder internal rotation lying

Lying on your good side, tuck your elbow in, keeping it next to your body, and move your arm inwards towards your stomach. This exercise will improve mobility to your shoulder.

Repeat 20 times, 3 times daily

How to strengthen your rhomboid muscles

Lie face down and take your arms out to your side. Squeeze your shoulder blades together lifting your arms just 10-15 cm from the floor. You will feel a muscular contraction around and between your shoulder blades, and in the backs of your arms.

Hold for 5-10 seconds repeating 6-10 times, 3 times daily

Active Shoulder Flexion Short Lever Lying

Lie on your back with your elbow bent and resting on a towel. Lift your arm up keeping your elbow bent. Go as far as feels comfortable before returning to the start position. This is a active mobilisation of the shoulder.

Repeat 20 times, 3 times daily.

Shoulder pain can stem from multiple factors and can be a challenging and restrictive condition. The treatment required depends on the cause and intensity of the pain, ranging from conservative measures like rest and pain relief, to more options such as physical therapy or surgery. To prevent shoulder injury, it is crucial to maintain good posture and engage in regular exercise. Seeking medical attention is crucial if you experience shoulder pain, as healthcare professionals we can help identify the root cause and suggest appropriate treatment options.

(Therapists reading this page, these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises If you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).