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What Exercise For Neck And Shoulder Pain

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Top 4 Exercises To Relieve Shoulder Pain

Exercises to Relieve Neck and Shoulder Pain

You can address the shoulder pain at home and actively engage in performing therapy exercises for shoulder pain and physical therapy shoulder stretches. Find out all the benefits of PT here.

Many exercises can help you deal with this problem, but here are the top 4 therapy exercises for shoulder pain.

Neck Pain And Stiffness: Try These Simple Exercises For Relief

In a video on Facebook, Luke says that when you keep your neck in the downward position continuously for hours, you may experience inflammation. Luke adds that the neck is not naturally designed to be kept in that position. You can move the neck up, down, sideways. But if it’s kept in one position for too long, it leads to stiffness, low blood pressure, cramps, muscle spasms, etc

Luke demonstrates 2 two simple exercises to strengthen the neck. However, he cautions those with severe spondylitis to consult the doctor before performing any exercise.

Exercise 1

Put your left hand on your right shoulder . Next, move your head towards the right shoulder and hold that for a bit. Move your ears towards the right shoulder. Make sure the right shoulder doesn’t move up either. Hold for 10-15 counts.

Now, do the same on the other side. Put your right hand on your left shoulder and move your ears towards the left shoulder. Hold it for 10-15 counts and relax.

Don’t push much as you may sprain your neck while overdoing the exercise. Do it gently once or twice.

Exercise 2

Clasp your hands behind your neck . Tilt your chin up a little bit and try driving your elbows at the back. You’ll feel the stretch across your biceps, shoulders, your upper back and your chest. Hold this for about 10 counts and then relax. Do this gently you can hurt yourself if you do it fast. You can do this twice.

Here’s Luke Coutinho’s video:

Strengthening Exercises For Shoulder Pain

These are two examples of strengthening exercises that help prevent shoulder pain using little to no equipment.

  • Fill a water bottle about ¾ full
  • Keeping your arm straight, hold the bottle in front of you at shoulder height for 30 to 60 seconds
  • Switch arms, doing this 3 times on each side
  • Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Put a pillow under your forehead if you need to
  • Gently bring your shoulder blades together and toward your feet
  • Relax your shoulders about halfway down and hold for 10 seconds
  • Release your shoulders and repeat the exercise 10 times

You can also prevent neck and shoulder pain by working on your posture.

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When To See A Doctor

See a doctor or physical therapist if you are unable to move your shoulders or if your pain worsens or doesnt improve after two weeks of treatment.

You should also see a doctor immediately if you have severe pain in both shoulders or both thighs or you have a fever.

To determine whats causing the pain and the best treatment plan, a doctor may do an X-ray, ultrasound scan, or magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Forward And Backward Tilt

Exercises for Shoulder Pain

This can be done while you’re seated or on your feet. Keep your moves slow and smooth.

  • Start with your head squarely over your shoulders and your back straight.
  • Lower your chin toward your chest and hold for 15-30 seconds. Relax, and slowly lift your head back up.
  • Tilt your chin up toward the ceiling and bring the base of your skull toward your back. Hold for 10 seconds, then return to the start position.
  • Repeat the set several times. Do it every day.

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Top 4 Physical Therapy Exercises For Shoulder Pain

Almost a quarter of American adults experience shoulder pain constantly. It’s caused by various disorders: bad posture, lack of movement or too much physical strain.

Unfortunately, untreated shoulder pain can then lead to neck pain, difficulty breathing and general discomfort that hinders everyday life.

Shoulder physical therapy and physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain are the best ways to address and overcome the issue.

You should consult with your physical therapist about the best ways to treat your shoulder pain and create an individual exercise plan. Check out the most important questions to ask your physical therapist here.

Until then, you can dedicate 15-30 minutes daily and do some simple yet effective exercises at home.

Here are the top 4 physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain.

Neck Pain Trigger Exercise: Loosens Up Tense Trapezius Muscles

Stand with your back against the wall and position the Trigger Plus over the tender point on your trapezius muscle. Start mobilizing the muscle as soon as the pain subsides slightly.

To do this, raise your arm over your head and bring it down again.

Tip: if you want to add pressure, lean into the wall more.

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Relieve Radiating Neck Pain With These 4 Exercises

Do you experience pain that starts at your neck and travels down to your shoulder, arm, and even your hands? Have you noticed that your arm feels weak or that your fingers feel numb and tingly? You may have a condition known as cervical radiculopathy, which is more commonly referred to as a pinched nerve. Typically caused by degenerative changes that occur with aging or injury such as a herniated/bulging disc, cervical radiculopathy is the result of compression or irritation of nerve roots that branch off from the spinal cord.

Someone with this condition may frequently complain of sharp, burning pain that radiates or extends beyond the neck into the upper extremity, as well as weakness and numbness/tingling of certain muscles and areas of the upper extremity. These symptoms are determined by the location of the affected nerve root. The most common areas of impingement are C6 and C7, which are associated with weakness of the biceps, triceps, and wrists, as well as numbness/tingling in the thumb, pointer, and middle finger and along the back of the arm. Luckily, cervical radiculopathy usually gets better over time and is often able to be completely resolved with conservative treatment. Try these four simple exercises at home to help improve your symptoms!

Stretching And Strengthening For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Best Neck and Shoulder Pain Relief Exercises

Stretching and strengthening help relieve pain and also build up muscle support to prevent future injuries. These gentle exercises should not make you feel any additional pain, so if they do, stop right away and consult a healthcare professional.

Here are three simple stretches to relieve neck pain.

  • Lower your chin to your chest while keeping your shoulders straight. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and slowly lift your chin back to the starting position.
  • Rotate your head to one side while keeping your shoulders straight. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and slowly return to the first position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Tilt your head so that youre moving your ear toward your shoulder. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax and slowly return to the first position. Tilt your head to the other side and repeat.
  • Use these stretches as a warm up to your strengthening exercises.

    Here are two exercises to help prevent future neck pain and injuries:

    Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Dont squeeze too hard it should feel comfortable. Repeat 10 times twice a day.

    Keeping your neck in a neutral position, do a wall pushup with your feet shoulder-width apart and your elbows straight. Repeat 10 times with 1 to 2 sets. Do this twice a day.

    Stretching exercises for shoulder pain

    These stretching exercises help loosen up the tight muscles that cause pain and can improve flexibility to prevent future injuries.

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    Tips For These Exercises

    Do these simple exercises three to six times per week to relieve shoulder pain. Start with a 10-minute routine and gradually increase the duration as you get stronger and more flexible.

    While doing these exercises, focus on relaxing and releasing any tension in your shoulders and anywhere else you feel tightness.

    Stretch only to the degree that is comfortable on any given day. Dont push yourself beyond your limits, and discontinue the exercises if you experience pain that goes beyond mild discomfort.

    This exercise helps increase flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder joint and the surrounding muscles. When doing this exercise, lower your arm if you feel any pain in your shoulder.

  • Bring your right arm across your chest.
  • Place it in the crease of your left elbow or use your left hand to support your arm.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Do each side 35 times.
  • This exercise is a gentle way to loosen tension in your neck and shoulders.

  • Lower your chin toward your chest. Youll feel a stretch along the back of your neck.
  • Gently tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder.
  • Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Do each side 35 times.
  • To deepen this stretch:

  • Place 1 hand on your shoulder and 1 hand above your ear to gently guide the movement.
  • Lower your chin toward your chest. Youll feel a stretch along the back of your neck.
  • Gently tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder.
  • Neck Exercises For Arthritis

    Setting your neck straight

    We put a lot of impact on our joints over the years. Eventually they start to show the signs of wear and tear. With age, arthritis can cause the joints in our knees, hands, wrists, and feet to become stiff and sore.

    Arthritis also affects the vertebrae in our neck, which get worn down from years of supporting our head. After age 60, more than 85 percent of people have arthritis in their neck, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons .

    If your neck is sore, see a doctor to find out exactly whats causing your pain. You can visit your family doctor or see a specialist like an orthopedist, rheumatologist, or osteopathic doctor. Your doctor can also advise you on therapies to help relieve the pain such as postural changes, physical therapy, yoga, or Pilates. And your doctor may recommend pain relieving medication or steroid injections.

    You can also try basic exercises at home. Though you might be tempted to keep your neck still when it hurts, staying immobile will only increase the stiffness. It will also cause you to lose even more movement. Stretching and strengthening exercises will help keep your neck limber and reduce your arthritis pain.

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    Usually When People Have Reports Of Neck Pain Or Shoulder The First Thing I Look At Is Their Posture And Most Of The Time They Look Like This:

    With technology being so prevalent at this time and age, people are constantly sitting in front of their computers or looking down at their phone. This leads to muscle imbalances where certain muscles become tight and others become weak.

    Over time, your posture begins to deteriorate because of these imbalances and result in the forward head posture shown above. It will become challenging to maintain the appropriate posture because your weak muscles are trying to fight against the tight muscles that are keeping everything forward. To address these imbalances, here are a few simple exercises to help improve your posture:

    Scapular Retraction

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back.
  • Hold for at least 10 seconds.
  • Video Exercises For Neck Pain

    9 Exercises to Release Neck and Shoulder Pain

    Our videos have been provided courtesy of Physiotec. The creators of innovative and adaptable exercise software for physiotherapists.

    We recommend that you seek advice from a physiotherapist or healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regime. If any of these exercises worsen your pain, please seek urgent medical advice.

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    Exercises To Help Neck Pain

    The goal of exercises for neck pain is to relieve tense muscles and improve your range of motion. A stiff and sore neck can make it hard to turn your head or engage in physical activity. These exercises focus on deliberate stretches and motions to reduce pain and tension without injury.


    One of the simplest motions you can do to relieve neck pain is nodding. The goal for this stretch is to keep your shoulders straight. This helps you actually stretch your neck muscles instead of compensating with other muscles.

    Step 1: Sit or stand with an upright posture, and your shoulders relaxed. Look straight ahead.

    Step 2: Slowly look down, lowering your chin towards your chest. Stop when you feel a gentle stretch in your neck and hold the position for up to thirty seconds.

    Step 3: Slowly return your head to a neutral position.

    Repeat this three to five times a day, or whenever you feel neck tension.

    Side to Side Tilts

    This exercise helps stretch the muscles on the sides of your neck, relieving muscle tension, and helping reduce pain.

    Step 1: Sit or stand with good posture and look straight ahead.

    Step 2: Gently lean your head to the left, aiming your left ear at your shoulder. Hold this position for up to thirty seconds, then return your head to neutral.

    Step 3: Repeat on your right side.


    Side to Side Rotations

    If your neck is stiff and it’s difficult to look to the side, this is a useful exercise to regain your range of motion.

    Step 3: Return to a neutral position.

    Adjusting Your Posture To Prevent Neck And Shoulder Pain

    It might not be obvious, but posture has a cascading effect on other parts of the body. Paying attention to your core strength and lower back can ease strain on your neck and shoulders.

    Take the wall test to adjust your standing posture.

    • Stand with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall
    • Keep your heels around 2 to 4 inches away from the wall
    • Put your hand behind the curve in your back and touch the wall with your palm

    Your hand should fit neatly inside of this space.

    • If the fit is too loose, tighten your abdominal muscles
    • If its too tight, arch your back

    Remember what it feels like when you find the right spot. This is the standing posture you want to maintain as much as possible. Do the wall test daily as many times as you need to.

    Adjust your sitting posture

    If you spend a lot of time behind a desk, fixing your sitting posture is especially important.

    • Avoid crossing your legs

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    How You Can Help Neck Pain With Exercises

    If you would like to see if exercises can help relieve any neck and/or shoulder pain you are experiencing, it is always beneficial to have your condition evaluated by a health care professional. A physical therapist or chiropractor may be able to provide you with a specific exercise program based on your particular condition, taking into account your severity of pain, motion limitations, strength of the muscles and any pre-existing conditions. It is always best to have the program include clear goals, including ergonomics and additional ways to improve postural muscle balance, stretches as well as any strengthening exercises.

    You can also visit our main page on neck exercises, where we begin with strengthening postural muscles using simple exercises to help ease pain. We also provide detailed instructions for gentle stretching as well as specific strengthening exercises using weights for those suffering from chronic neck and shoulder pain.

    With so much of todays work and leisure involved with computers and remaining stationary for long periods, it makes sense to consider neck stretching and exercises as a part of a more comprehensive approach to managing neck pain. We also have products that can help you achieve better results and help with motivation. The exercises are all designed to be done at home, so there is no excuse about having to get out to the gym or therapy office to do exercises for neck and shoulder pain.

    For each of the exercises:

    Neck Pain Exercises For Managing Symptoms & Promoting Healing

    BEST Shoulder Neck Pain Relief Exercises

    Do you have aching neck and shoulders? In the past, the advice was to rest, perhaps use a neck brace, and just wait until it gets better. While there are times when you should rest your neck, like after a recent injury, heath care professionals now recommend neck pain exercises as one of the best treatments for symptoms. It has been shown that motion is better than rest for chronic neck and shoulder pain.

    As indicated in a 2020 systematic review with a narrative synthesis in PLoS One, many scientific studies have been done providing evidence that neck stretches and exercises play an important role in easing pain, recovering from injuries and helping to prevent neck and shoulder pain.

    Following an injury like whiplash, healing is better and begins sooner, with less chances of having a chronic condition when gentle exercises are done sooner than later. For individuals suffering chronic or long term neck pain, the scientific literature indicates exercises may provide a degree of pain relief, with some showing immediate benefits.

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    Potential Causes Of Neck Pain

    According to the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association, there are four main types of conservatively managed neck pain:

    • Neck pain with mobility deficits: This is a stiff neck a person experiences after straining the neck muscles when sleeping in the wrong position or lifting heavy weights.
    • Neck pain with movement coordination impairments: This includes whiplash and neck pain that occurs after a person has been sitting at a desk in the wrong position for too long.
    • Neck pain with headaches: This type of pain includes neck pain with headaches toward the back of the head.
    • Neck pain with radiating pain: This includes neck pain due to spinal stenosis, a slipped â or herniated â cervical disc, or cervical nerve compression.

    Stretching the neck may help a person relieve muscle tension and improve their range of motion. Below, we list examples of exercises that are best for neck pain with mobility deficits.

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