Shoulder pain, especially caused from rotator cuff disorders, can be a significant cause of pain for many patients. Since the shoulder is involved in many upper body movements–from putting on a shirt to holding a child to throwing a ball–it’s important to be cognizant of your current shoulder condition. You can try exercises for shoulder pain work to improve your current pain level or reduce the chance of injury.
Understanding exercises for shoulder pain
As with all pain conditions, talk to your doctor first about treatment options for your shoulder pain. Many common causes of shoulder pain can be treated with noninvasive treatments, such as rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or light exercise. Once cleared by your doctor, some of the following exercise programs can help you regain strength in your shoulder joint in order to minimize further damage.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ (AAOS) Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Conditioning Program
The AAOS provides an in-depth, comprehensive treatment plan for strengthening the muscles that support the shoulder, while also relieving pain. Their exercises for shoulder pain program lasts four to six weeks. They recommend doing each exercise two to three times a day. 18 exercises make up the program, ranging from simple arm stretches to external rotation strengthening exercises performed with weights.
MedlinePlus Rotator Cuff Exercises
While many of AAOS’ exercises are done lying down or with special weights, MedlinePlus’ treatment program provides 12 stretching and strengthening exercises that can be performed standing up with only an exercise band. The website also provides some tips for self-care in order to prevent future pain. These include the best positions for sleeping, ways to carry objects without harming your shoulders, and advice for returning to sports.
UW Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Exercises for the Weak Shoulder
The University of Washington put together an extensive exercise program for treating both shoulder arthritis and rotator cuff tears. Their exercises for shoulder pain tackle different areas of fitness–from strengthening to coordination. Like AAOS’ program, you will need a few hand weights or an exercise band to complete these poses.
Do you suffer from shoulder pain? Have you done any exercises or physical therapy to treat and manage your pain?
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