Sunday, March 27, 2011

5 Simple Stretches to ease Shoulder Pain

A while ago I did a post with some simple stretches to ease back pain.  Recently I got a comment on that post asking for something similar for shoulders - et voila!

I think most of us who work at desks have a tendency to hunch up and hunker down over our keyboards, and obviously all the stretching in the world can't replace good posture and a healthy work space!  If you are working long hours in the office, make sure to take regular breaks and walk around, swing your arms, roll your shoulders, and stretch a bit!

Here are a few really simple stretches that can help.  They work really well as a little flow, but can be done individually as well - and best of all, they can be done in your chair while at work.

*If clasping your hands together isn't comfortable in some of these poses, try using a small length of fabric -  a strap, belt or even a teatowel - and you will get a great stretch!

1. Start by sitting up straight with both feet evenly planted on the floor (or both sitting bones if you are sitting on the floor).  Bring your hands beside you, or even better, underneath you and take 5 deep breaths while you focus on dropping the shoulders down as far away as you can from your ears.  Then:





2.  Inhale, and reach your arms up overhead.  Clasp the fingers together and turn the palms upwards*.  Now bring your focus back to the shoulders and again, try to drop them away from your ears while still lengthening upwards through the crown of your head.  Hold for 5 breaths or about 30 seconds.


3.  Release your hands and bring them down behind you.  Once again interlace the fingers behind your back*, and gently lift your hands away from your lower back until you feel a nice stretch.  Hold for 5 breaths or about 30 seconds.


4. Release your arms and stretch them out in front of you, palms up.  Then, cross one arm over the other, above the elbow.  Bend the bottom arm (bringing your hand towards the ceiling) and gently pull the outstretched arm to that side.  Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.  If you have more flexibility in your shoulders, you can also try Eagle arms, also pictured.


5. Bring one hand to your shoulder, palm up.  Stretch the other arm all the way up to the ceiling and then bend it at the elbow, clasping your hands together*.  Now from the hand on the shoulder, gently pull until you feel a good stretch, then hold.  Try holding about 30 seconds on each side.

Hope these help!  Readers, what little stretches feel great for your shoulders?

If you liked these stretches you may also enjoy: 7 stretches for neck and shoulders you can do at your desk

21 comments:

  1. Great tips. The shoulders are a major area of stored tension in my body. I tend to do the stretches that you've mentioned, but my new favorite shoulder stretch/movement is to reach the arms forward to shoulder height, then bend the elbows to bring the fingertips to touch the top of the shoulders. Then open the elbows out to the sides and slowly make circles first in one direction, then the other. It feels completely amazing and gently works through all those little crunchies around the shoulder joint.

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  2. It sounds easy to do. I will try it since I often get shoulder pain after work in front of my computer and sit on my office chair for hours. Thank you for the tips.

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  3. Do you have exercise for tight calves and stiff ankles?

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  4. Hi Anonymous - I certainly do! Check back soon and I will do a post about that. Thanks for the feedback!

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  5. Love this i did these stretches my shoulder had been bothering me for a few days and it feels so much better even just doing it once thanks a bunch!!!!

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  6. Thank you! I thought I was doing some of these stretches before, but after following your instructions and getting a MUCH better stretch, I realize I was not doing them correctly at all. Excellent explanations and pictures. I will be checking out your other posts. -Gretchen

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    1. Hi Gretchen - thanks for the feedback! I'm gad these worked for you. :) Hope you enjoy roaming the blog!

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  7. Hi. Love this sequence. I often do something similar in my gentle yoga class. However, if someone has serious pain, caution here. This could be contraindicated for undiagnosed rotator cuff injury/tears.
    Love your sight.
    Jai

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    1. Hi Jai - thanks for the comment. You are very right - this sequence is just for your average, everyday sore shoulders - NOT for someone recovering from an injury. :) I will put a note at the top of the post! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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  8. I have a what i hope wont be a chronic shoulder pain which makes it uncomfortable to sleep! These poses are great! :) please keep posting simple yoga poses that helps alleviate body aches/pains!

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  9. They worked 4 me...

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  10. Wow that is intense. I think this will get me on the right track!

    Thank you!

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  12. Thank you! I'm sore from shoveling and am sure these will help. Thanks also for reminding me of eagle pose.

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  13. You are welcome everyone! I'm glad these are helpful and I'm working on another 5 to follow them up, so stay tuned!

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  14. Thanks again for your useful posts. I have been doing some of these for a while, but it's reassuring to see it all here on one page and it feeels good :-) All the best, J

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  15. Thanks a lot, it really worked for me, such a pain relief ... Thanks a lot dear.. Keep doing this .... All the best :)

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  16. Thank you so much! I needed this more than I realized! Will try to practice throughout my long day in front of the keyboard

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