CLICK HERE to watch the YouTube video.
I got Alix to demonstrate the exercise.
There are many reasons why the shoulder may hurt, and shoulder pain can occur in different areas of the shoulder. The shoulder is a complex part of the body with several joints. Many tendons and muscles work together to allow for the wide range of motion that occurs at the shoulder. If you have very mobile shoulders, you may have issues with instability or impingement of the soft tissue or bony structures in the shoulder area. You may feel pain all of the time or only when you move your shoulder. You may experience temporary or chronic pain requiring consistent treatment (like osteoarthritis).
What is a Shoulder?
What is commonly called the shoulder is made up of three bones: the humerus (your upper arm), the scapula (your shoulder blade), and the clavicle (your collarbone). A combination of muscles and tendons keeps the head of your upper arm secured into the socket of your shoulder blade. These tissues are called the rotator cuff, a common site for injuries and pain. Some main causes of pain in the shoulder area are tendon inflammation (bursitis or tendinitis), tendon tear, instability, impingement, arthritis, and fractures (or broken bones). There are more serious but less common causes of shoulder pain, such as tumors, infections, and nerve-related problems.
Poor posture can also lead to shoulder pain. Most of us sit and spend a lot of time looking at phones or computers, all of which contribute to poor posture. The exercise we will go through in this post focuses on reversing the slouching position to decrease shoulder pain. When we sit for long periods and slouch forward, the muscles in our chests tend to get tight and short. This only pulls the shoulders further forward. At the same time, the muscles in our upper backs that are important for good posture get stretched out and weak. Stretching open the front of the chest while strengthening the upper back muscles is essential for relieving shoulder pain.
Shoulder Exercise to Relieve Pain
For today’s exercise, you are going to open up your shoulders. To do so, pull the shoulder blades together to open across your chest. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. This will take some of the pressure off the shoulder joints. The muscles around the shoulder blades will take on more work and take stress and pressure off the shoulders. Keep your core engaged, and ensure you do not arch your lower back. You might even do this exercise against a wall while you try to keep your shoulders and lower back pulling back towards the wall. Do this exercise when sitting or standing, anywhere and anytime throughout your day. Whenever you notice yourself slouching forward or your shoulders bothering you, gently pull your shoulder blades together and open up the front of your chest.
To begin with, hold this position for a few seconds, relax, and then repeat. Once you have practiced for a while, hold the position for longer. Eventually, you will naturally find yourself in this position, and your shoulder pain and discomfort should decrease.
Rick Kaselj, MS
If you want to end your shoulder discomfort permanently, click here to check out the Shoulder Pain Solved program.