Did you know shoulders are the single most mobile joint in the body? But as incredible and versatile as shoulders are, they can also be an agonising source of discomfort when something goes wrong. The shoulder gets its range of motion from the rotator cuff, made up of four tendons. Should these tendons become damaged or swollen, motion is hampered and often extremely painful.
Shoulder pain can be the result of a number of activities; manual labour, playing sports, repetitive motion, the list goes on. The most common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff tendonitis, a condition characterised by inflamed tendons. Another common cause is an impingement syndrome where the rotator cuff is caught between the acromion and humeral head. Certain diseases can also bring pain to the shoulder, such as arthritis, liver, heart and gallbladder disease and diseases of the cervical spine. Then of course there is dislocation, breakage and frozen shoulder.
Physical therapy, medications or surgery may be required in some cases, but for the most part, treatment for shoulder pain can be managed at home with ibuprofen and gentle exercise.
Try taking Herron Blue to reduce inflammation while you rehabilitate your shoulder with these gentle exercises.
1. Standing shoulder shrugs
Stand against a wall, making sure that your heels touch the surface and that your feet are about 6” apart and pointing straight. Feel your weight evenly between both feet and pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold this pinch tight throughout the exercise. Slide your shoulders up the wall and down the wall for 30 reps, trying to maintain the ‘pinch’ between your shoulder blades.
2. Frog pullovers
Lay on floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be by your side, palms facing up. Drop your knees out to the side so that the bottoms of your feet are touching and relax. You’ll feel a pull in your inner thigh muscles. From this position you’ll find your lower back starts to arch – this is a good thing. Bring your arms out in front of your chest and interlace your hands to make a fist. Keep your elbows straight and tuck your elbows into the floor. Bring your arms behind your head without bending your elbows and repeat for 30 reps.
3. Standing elbow curls
Stand upright against the wall as you would in exercise #1. Hold your arms up in front of your head, your hands formed into two thumb downs. Bring your hands to rest on your head and hold this throughout the exercise. Bring your elbows together in front of you, keeping your hands rested on your head and your back against the wall. Repeat for 25 reps.
4. Pendulum exercise
Pendulum exercises help to mobilise the shoulder joint in the early stages of rehabilitation. Stand bent over, your body weight resting on the uninjured shoulder. Let your bad arm hang in front of you and transfer your body back and forth between your feet while letting your arm swing naturally. Start by transferring weight back and forth and then side-to-side.
5. Supported eccentric shoulder rotation
Eccentric training works by contracting the muscles used for controlling or decelerating a load while the damaged muscles and tendons are being stretched. It is well advocated as a treatment for tendinopathy. Begin seated sideways in a chair with your elbow bent to 90 degrees and supported by the back of the chair. Keeping your elbow supported, slowly rotate your arm forwards towards the floor. A mild amount of discomfort is natural, but this should not be painful or unbearable. At the bottom, bend your elbow to bring your hand in towards your shoulder. Rotate upper arm, extend the elbow so that the forearm is vertical, and repeat.
Though this video demonstrates the exercise with light weights, it is best to avoid using weights until you are recovered. It is an effective rehabilitation exercise without the use of weights. It’s a good idea to seek medical or physiotherapy advice before resuming weight training after a shoulder injury.
6. Internal shoulder rotation
Roll up a towel lengthways and hold between each hand, with your top hand behind your head and the towel following the length of your spine. Bring the towel up and down behind your head, straightening one arm at a time. Hold each stretch for around 3 seconds and repeat for 15 reps.
Recovering from shoulder pain at home
The trick to treating your shoulder pain at home is to be consistent with your exercises. Find a handful of exercises that work for you and perform them as often as you can. The key is to choose gentle exercises which you can perform again and again. While at work, why not try performing these quick one-minute exercises? Find opportunities throughout the day to perform fast and simple exercises, take Ibuprofen to keep inflammation at bay, and you’ll be on your way to pain-free shoulder movement in no time. If pain persists, talk to your doctor or physiotherapist.
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Incorrect use could be harmful. For the temporary relief of pain and fever. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional.All information presented on the Herron website is meant for general knowledge and never meant as a diagnosis of prescription. Please always contact your doctor for health related matters.