Stretches for a Sore Shoulder

Shoulder pain can ruin your mood and your day.

Shoulder pain can ruin your mood and your day.

While snapping at your friends and family might seem like a perfectly reasonable strategy for dealing with muscle pain, there are much more effective ways to stop the misery of pain in your shoulders. A few simple stretching exercises can reduce tension and help you stop feel like you're being crushed by a ton of bricks. While it's important to have any chronic pain checked out by a doctor, many people experience pain due to hunching over a computer all day or insufficient exercise. Regular stretching can help reduce the pain.

Cross your left arm over your chest, and then hold it in place with your right arm. Push your elbow closer to your body until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, and then repeat with your right arm.

Push your shoulder blades together by bending your elbows and pushing your arms back behind you as far as they can comfortably go. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat three to five times.

Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand back as if trying to touch your shoulder blade. Gently push down on your elbow with your left hand until you feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.

Lean forward with your left arm supported on a flat table or desk. Your back should be straight and you should not be straining. Extend your right arm straight toward the ground and rotate your arm in clockwise circles 10 to 15 times. Repeat on the other side.

Tip

  • Try applying alternating hot and cold packs -- 20 minutes on, 10 minutes off -- if you have severe pain. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can also reduce pain.

Warning

  • Don't try to stretch your shoulders if you have an injury. You might sprain or otherwise injure the muscle.
 

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.

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