Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder is most lax joint in our body. A large head of our arm bone (humerus) is held in alliance with small shallow cup of wing bone (scapula – shoulder blade) by four small muscles. Picking objects from height (e.g. loft), working overhead (painting of ceiling), forcible throwing of objects, lifting heavy weights and injuries to shoulder (even sudden jerks during travel) can strain weak shoulder muscles and lead to stiffness and pain (‘frozen’ shoulder). Cervical spondylosis, swelling of liver (right shoulder) and heart attack (left shoulder) can also cause pain in shoulder. Frozen shoulder is common in diabetic patients. Exercise is the best treatment for all types of shoulder pain. Rest or immobilization can lead to more stiffness. Calcium as well as supplements of Vitamins B and D are also prescribed alongwith exercises for shoulder pain.

Shoulder Exercises

See general instructions about exercise

1. While holding onto a table or the back of a chair, bend forward a little & let your arm hang straight down. Swing your arm back and forth like a pendulum. Move arm in a circular manner - a small circle (dinner-plate size) to start with - clockwise and anticlockwise. Shoulder Exercise 1
2. Wall crawling/climbing: Stand facing a wall. Place one hand on the wall at eye level so that your hand is at 900 to the wall. Make your fingers crawl up the wall, climbing as high as you can. Repeat this exercise with other hand. Shoulder Exercise 2
3. Lift up both your shoulders and maintain in upheld position for some time. Bring them down slowly. You may hold a small weight while lifting shoulders for better muscle strengthening. Stiffness of shoulder muscles can be reduced by moving them back and forth. Shoulder Exercise 3
4. Lie on your back. Put your hands alongside at 900 as shown in the picture. While keeping your elbows on the ground lift your hands slowly up. Move your hands at elbows in 1800 up and down. Shoulder Exercise 4
5. Lie on your belly. Keep both hands alongside your body without bending at elbows. Interlock fingers and stretch your hands. Lift up your painful hand slowly with the help of other hand. Shoulder Exercise 5
6. Lying on your belly, keep your hands and palms on ground. Move hands clockwise in 1800 and bring them above your head. Shoulder Exercise 6
7. Using a stick helps moving painful shoulder with help of normal hand. Hold the stick horizontally in front of you as shown in picture. Rise up your hands as much as you can. Do not bend your elbows. Hold for some time and bring them down. Hold the stick on your backside now. Move the stick up and down. Shoulder exercises also include moving an uplifted stick to right and left in standing as well as in lying down position. Shoulder Exercise 7
8. Using a suitable weight (dumb bells, sand bag or water bottle) gives more stretch to shoulder muscles and increases their strength. Lie on your right side with your left arm at your side. Hold a weight in your left hand with fore-arm across your abdomen. Raise your fore arm as shown in the picture. Be sure to hold your elbow on your side. Do the same exercise with right hand while lying on left side. Holding a small towel-roll under your arm helps to keep your shoulder straight. Shoulder Exercise 8
9. Lie on your abdomen at edge of bed and let your hand hang down as shown in picture. Hold a weight in hand and lift it back and forth. Shoulder Exercise 9
10. Hold arms alongside your body in standing position with weights in both your hands. Raise your arms to bring weights to shoulder level. Weights can also be lifted back and forth to shoulder level in standing position. Shoulder Exercise 10
11. You can do various exercises with the help of rubber (or Thera-band) under supervision of a qualified physiotherapist. Shoulder Exercise 11
12. You can do many exercises with a rope around the pulley fitted on wall or roof. Shoulder Exercise 12

Yoga postures such as bhujangasan, parvatasan, tadasan, naukasan and gomukhasan also help to reduce shoulder pain.

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