Shoulder Pain Exercises

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This leaflet has been provided by Arthritis Research UK, the national charity committed to preventing the onset of arthritis, developing a cure for arthritis and transforming the lives of those with arthritis.

 

This leaflet provides simple exercises that may help with shoulder pain.

  • Most cases of shoulder pain aren't caused by anything serious and will ease within 2 weeks.
  • You can take painkillers to ease pain. Taking them before exercise can help you stay active without causing extra pain.
  • Using an ice pack, learning how to protect your joints and being aware of your posture will help cases of shoulder pain.
  • Try the exercises suggested here to help ease pain and prevent future symptoms.

Door lean

Door lean
  • Stand in a doorway with both arms on the wall slightly above your head.
  • Slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your shoulders.
  • Hold for 15-30 seconds.
  • Repeat 3 times.
  • Note: this exercise isn't suitable if you have a shoulder impingement.

Door press

Door press right
  • Stand in a doorway with your elbow bent at a right angle and the back of your wrist against the doorframe.
  • Try to push your arm outwards against the doorframe.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.
Door press left
  • Use your other arm and, still with your elbow at a right angle, push your palm towards the doorframe.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each side.

Shoulder stretch

Shoulder stretch
  • Stand and raise your shoulders.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades back and together and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Pull your shoulder blades downward and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Relax and repeat 10 times.

Pendulum exercise

Pendulum exercise
  • Stand with your good hand resting on a chair.
  • Let your other arm hang down and try to swing it gently backwards and forwards and in a circular motion.
  • Repeat about 5 times.
  • Try this 2-3 times a day.

Content used with permission from the Arthritis Research UK website: Exercises to manage shoulder pain. Copyright for this leaflet is with Arthritis Research UK.

Original Author:
Arthritis Research UK
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Arthritis Research UK
Document ID:
29101 (v1)
Last Checked:
25/09/2015
Next Review:
24/09/2018
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