What Exercises Are Appropriate for Relieving Shoulder Pain?


Quick Answer

Exercises for relieving shoulder pain include the pendulum, crossover arm stretch and passive internal rotation, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The goals of these exercises include to increase strength and flexibility in the shoulders while targeting muscles in the region, including the deltoids and supporting shoulder joints.

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What Exercises Are Appropriate for Relieving Shoulder Pain?
Credit: U.S. Army CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The pendulum works the deltoids and supraspinatus muscles. To perform this exercise, lean forward and position one hand on a table or counter, allowing the other to hang freely, and then swing the arm back and forth in a circular motion. Repeat in two sets of 10 repetitions each.

The crossover arm stretch works the posterior deltoid muscles. To perform it, relax the shoulders and pull one arm across the chest. Hold it at the upper arm for 30 seconds, then repeat. Perform four repetitions per side.

Passive internal rotation involves the subscapularis muscles and can be felt at the front of the shoulder. To perform this exercise, hold a yardstick or other light stick behind the back using one hand, and then grasp the end of the stick lightly with the other hand. Pull on the stick so that the shoulder is stretched; hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Perform four reps per side.

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