While specialist exercises are best suggested by your physical therapist to treat your unique shoulder injury, there are some exercises that you can practice at home for everyday shoulder pain. These exercises may be part of your physical therapy treatment plan, but they’re also a wonderful method to loosen up any tightness or stress in your shoulder and prevent damage.
It’s crucial to know your limits with this workout, as it is with any other, so you don’t injure yourself further.
- Across the Chest
Place one arm over your chest and secure it with the other. Rep with the opposite arm after releasing your arm.
One of the most basic physical therapy shoulder exercises is this one. It’s a terrific exercise to do while sitting at your desk at work, watching TV, or even as part of your morning stretches. Its purpose is to assist the shoulder joint and muscles in maintaining or improving their flexibility and range of motion.
Allow your other arm to hang loosely and circle it a few times both clockwise and counter-clockwise while resting one hand on the back of a chair. Then, on the opposite side, release and repeat. This exercise should be done a few times a day to enhance flexibility and to warm up your joints before a workout.
- Doorway Stretch
With both elbows creating right angles, stand in any doorway. Step forward with one foot, palms pressed into the doorway, and lean forward gently, keeping your core muscles engaged. Rep the exercise with the other foot and finish a few repetitions to stretch and strengthen your chest and shoulders.
- Downward Dog
Downward Dog, also known as a popular yoga pose, is excellent for stretching and strengthening the muscles in your shoulders and back. Begin on your hands and knees, then press your palms into the mat to elevate your hips. If necessary, bend your knees slightly and distribute your weight between your hands and feet. With your head pulled towards your feet, your spine should be straight, allowing your shoulders and back to extend out appropriately over your head.
- Neck Relaxation
Dip your head till your chin touches your chest and feel the stretch in the back of your neck to offer our neck and shoulder muscles some rest. After that, gently lift your head and tilt it to one side to extend the opposing shoulder. Then, on the opposite side, repeat the tilt.
- Expansion of the Chest
This stretch is wonderful for increasing flexibility and enhancing range of motion in your shoulders.
Gently move your shoulder blades toward each other, opening up your chest, while standing with your arms behind you clutching an exercise strap or towel. To gaze up, lift your chin. Bring your hands closer together on the strap or towel to deepen the strain.
- Twist while seated
This stretch is excellent for your shoulders and neck. If you practice yoga on a regular basis, you’ll be familiar with the seated twist. If you’re new to yoga, you can do this twist while sitting in a chair. Throughout the stretch, keep your hips facing forward and allow the stretch to begin in your lower back. Your knees and ankles should be in line, and as you twist to one side, bring the opposite hand to rest on your thigh. Hold the stretch for a few seconds before gently turning to repeat on the opposite side.
When Should You Begin Shoulder Physical Therapy?
It can be difficult to determine when your shoulder pain is severe enough to require professional medical attention, but a good rule of thumb is to see your doctor as soon as your shoulder pain becomes noticeable, especially if it interferes with your daily activities. Your doctor may advise you to see a physical therapist, but you are not required to do so. If you believe you could benefit from professional physical therapy, there is no harm in meeting with one to assess the extent of the injury.
When it comes to seeing a physical therapist and starting physical therapy for your shoulder pain, the sooner the better. This is especially important if you suspect you have an overuse injury, which often does not become apparent until the injury is severe. The longer you wait to treat a potential shoulder injury, the worse it is likely to get. Although prevention is often preferable to cure, in the case of shoulder injuries, beginning physical therapy sooner rather than later can both prevent your injury from worsening and reduce the likelihood that you will require surgery.
Leaving an injury untreated for too long will always cost you more money in the long run because a more severe injury will necessitate more treatment. Furthermore, seeing a professional physical therapist who is well-versed in human anatomy is an excellent way to help you correct any problematic activities or habits you may have, allowing you to heal while also successfully preventing future injuries.
As a result, as soon as you suspect you may be suffering from shoulder pain or an injury, you should seek medical attention.
What to Expect from a Physical Therapy Consultation?
If you’ve never been to a physical therapist for shoulder pain or anything else, you might be a little nervous, especially if you have no idea what to expect. The first physical therapy appointment is unlikely to be like subsequent appointments. During the initial appointment, you will discuss your shoulder pain or injury with the physical therapist, including how it occurred. The physical therapist will also discuss any physical limitations you may have as a result of your injury, as well as the goals you hope to achieve during treatment.
The physical therapist will also examine the physical limitations of your injury, including checking your range of motion and if there is any structural damage, during the initial appointment. Wear comfortable, casual clothing to the appointment so you can move freely and the physical therapist can conduct their examination properly. If your appointment follows an event, such as work, that makes it difficult for you to dress casually, the physical therapist may be able to provide clothing to help you access the injured body part more easily. You can also bring a change of clothes with you to the appointment.
The physical therapist is also available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have, whether they are related to your injury, your daily activities, or ways to make your daily life more ergonomic.