Shoulder pain is something most of us deal with at one point or another. Whether it's from an injury, a natural shoulder issue, or just plain old wear and tear, shoulder pain can be a real nuisance in your everyday life. 

This blog post will discuss 7 stretches to relieve shoulder pain that you can do at home. 

 

What Causes Shoulder Pain? 

Tight shoulders can result from: 

  • Poor posture 
  • Sitting at a desk for long periods 
  • Working at a laptop or desktop that is not well-positioned 
  • Too much time looking down at a mobile phone 
  • Stress 
  • Carrying heavy bags 
  • Injury 
  • Medical conditions such as arthritis 


7 Yoga Postures To Relieve Shoulder Pain: 

 

Neck stretches 

Neck stretches can help release tension at the top of the shoulders. To do a neck stretch: 

  • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
  • Let the arms hang down by the sides, allowing your shoulders to relax
  • Look forward
  • Tip the head to the right, trying to touch the right ear to the right shoulder
  • Feel the stretch in the left side of the neck and shoulder
  • Tip the head to the left, trying to touch the left ear to the left shoulder
  • Feel the stretch in the right side of the neck and shoulder. Each time, hold the position for around 10 seconds
  • Repeat this three times on each side

     
    Shoulder Rolls 

    Shoulder rolls are an easy way to mobilise the shoulders. To do shoulder rolls: 

    • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
    • Let the arms hang down at the sides of the body
    • Breathe in and lift the shoulders up toward the ears
    • Move the shoulders back, squeezing the shoulder blades together
    • Exhale and drop the shoulders back
    • Move the elbows forward, feeling the stretch at the back of the shoulders
    • Repeat this 10 times

       

      Pendulum stretch 

      The pendulum is a gentle way to increase movement in the shoulder using the force of gravity. To do this stretch:  

      • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
      • Lean forward and look at the ground
      • Place the right hand on a table or chair for support
      • Let the left arm hang down
      • Swing the left arm gently in small circular motions, letting gravity do most of the work
      • Continue for 30 seconds to 1 minute
      • Change the direction of the motion
      • Repeat this, using the other arm

        

      Cross-body arm swings 

      Arm swings help warm up the shoulder joint and increase movement. To do cross-body arm swings: 

      • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
      • Inhale and lift the arms out to the sides, squeezing the shoulder blades together
      • Exhale and gently bring the arms in toward each other
      • Cross the right arm under the left, keeping both arms straight
      • Inhale and swing the arms back out to the sides, squeezing the shoulder blades together
      • Exhale, and gently swing the arms in toward each other again
      • This time, cross the left arm under the right, keeping both arms straight
      • Repeat this 10 times

        

      Garudasana pose (Arms Only) 

      Garudasana provides an exceptional all-around mobility exercise for the shoulders. To perform: 

      • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
      • Extend both arms out straight with the palms facing downward
      • Cross the left arm over the right and then bend both elbows
      • The aim is to bring both palms together, however you may find that you are only able to just touch your left wrist with your right fingertips, which is ok
      • Hold this for 20 seconds, then repeat the pose on the other side

       
      Child’s Pose 

      Child’s Pose is a gentle yoga posture that can help open the back of the shoulders. To do this pose: 

      • Kneel on the ground or a mat
      • Touch the big toes together
      • Spread the knees apart
      • Sit up straight
      • Inhale and reach the arms above the head
      • Exhale and bow forward, toward the floor, reaching the arms out in front
      • Touch the ground with the palms
      • Bring the elbows to the ground
      • Sit back, bringing the bottom of the back toward the heels
      • Feel the stretch in the back of the shoulders
      • Breathe deeply, and hold the position for 1 minute or longer

       

      Ragdoll Pose 

      Ragdoll Pose is a forward-bend yoga pose that may help release tension in the shoulders. To do Ragdoll Pose: 

      • Stand with the feet hip-width apart
      • Bend the knees slightly
      • Bend forward and allow the arms to hang freely
      • Keep the stomach against the bent knees to support the lower back
      • Cross your arms if this is comfortable for you
      • The crown of the head should point toward the floor
      • Let the head hang heavily, releasing tension in the neck and shoulders 
      • Stay in the pose for 1 minute or longer

       
      Shoulder pain and tightness are common and treatable. Practicing the stretches above may reduce tightness and help to increase your range of movement. 

      When ongoing shoulder pain does not improve with stretching, massage therapy may help. 

      As always, be kind to yourself and allow your body the space to work it’s own healing magic. With time and practice most common shoulder complaints can be substantially improved without the need for any drastic interventions.  

       

       

      7 Stretches to Relieve Shoulder Pain