Pain on the shoulders makes you unable to move your arms effectively considering that the shoulder joint is an important element in the range of motion of the arms. While the pain along the shoulder joint is already uncomfortable, additional problems such as difficulty to raise the arms and lift overhead makes shoulder pain disabling. Stretching the muscles and other soft structures around the shoulder joint is one way to relieve pain and improve the ability of the person to move with ease. The shoulder joint also has a very delicate rotator cuff to keep the shoulder in place. So stretching the shoulders will help the rotator cuff become stronger and more flexible for further support to the shoulder joint. So to help you relieve shoulder pain and enhance the flexibility of the soft structures in the shoulder area, here are the effective stretches that you can employ:
• Circumduction stretch
This stretch helps strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint. Perform this stretch by standing behind a chair or a table. Lean forward and use the unaffected arm to hold into the chair for support. Hang the affected arm on the side of the body and rotate the arms in circles starting from small circles and gradually increasing the circumference as the pain decreases.
• Behind the back arm stretch
This type of stretch is especially catered to strengthen the front portion of the shoulder. Stand straight and place the arms behind the buttocks with the fingers interlaced. Slowly raise the arms at the back to make it parallel to the ground. Hold the arms higher and as straight as possible. When you feel pain on the chest and shoulders, stop the stretch.
• Crossover bar stretch
The crossover bar stretch is used to stretch the middle potion of the deltoid muscle. This is very important since the deltoid acts to move the arms sideways. To do the crossover bar stretch, stand beside a vertical bar on the unaffected side. Using the affected arm, grasp the bar to make the arms cross over the chest. Slowly lean away from the bar so that the affected arm is stretched. Once you feel a stretch on the shoulder area, hold the stretch for 20 seconds.
• Monkey bar stretch
To complete the stretch on all parts of the shoulder, the monkey bar stretch is performed since it especially caters to the back portion of the shoulders. This is practically easy to perform as long as you have a horizontal bar. Try to hang in the bar with the palms facing downwards. Lift the feet off the ground so your shoulders can feel a stretch. If you feel intense pain, you may release the stretch by lowering your feet on the ground.
• Overhead stretch
If you are working at your office and feel pain on your shoulders, you can easily perform the overhead stretch. In a standing or a sitting position, lift your arms overhead. Consciously stretch your arms upwards and use your body to pull the body downwards for a stronger stretch on the shoulder joint.
Stretching the shoulders may produce some sort of pain on the shoulder, but doing the stretch regularly can help relieve pain in no time.