Shoulder pain and tension are relatively common for most people. Not only can they happen for a variety of reasons, but they can also be quite irritating as well as burdensome when you’re trying to get your work done or perform daily tasks.

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Having sore or pain and tension-ridden shoulders don’t always mean that there is a medical health issue. You just need to understand what the causes may be, and what we can do to avoid, and relieve it. Fortunately, there are multiple exercises you can try to relieve shoulder tension that we will go through in this article. 

There are multiple causes as to why you may be feeling tension and tightness in your shoulder and its surrounding area. Some of them include:

  • Poor posture when sitting, sleeping, standing or walking
  • Sitting down for too long
  • Having a workstation that is not well set up
  • Stress and mental health
  • Fatigue
  • Not having enough rest
  • Poor exercise technique
  • Arthritis
  • Ageing
  • Previous injury

Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and tension to Try

Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and tension

1. Neck Stretches

Standing in normal position with your feet align with your hips, let your arms hang down by your side and look forward. Simply tip your head to the right and try to touch your shoulder with your ear. You’ll be able to feel the stretch on the opposite side of your shoulder.

When fully stretched, hold it for a few seconds before alternating to the opposite side. You can do this for 3 to 4 times on each side or until you can feel a good stretch. 

2. Shoulder Rolls

In the same starting position as neck stretches, take a deep breathe and lift the shoulders up towards the ears, squeezing the trapezius muscles and shoulder blades together. Hold the position for a few seconds before gently lowering them down and exhaling in the process. 

3. Pendulum Stretch

Standing straight with your feet aligned with your hips, lean forward with your eyes focused on the ground. You can put a chair or table in the front and use it for support.

With the opposite hand that’s free, gently swing it in a circular motion and let gravity take control once you’ve let loose. You can perform this on each side of the arm for 30 to 40 seconds before switching arms.

4. Cross-Body Arm Swings

Standing straight with your feet aligned with your hips, take a deep breath in and lift your arms out and pointing opposite directions. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and slowly bring your arms together. You can squeeze your chest as your arms cross each other.

Exhale and slowly retract back into the position you started. You can repeat this ten times for every set. Be sure to keep your arms and back straight throughout.

5. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

In the same standing position as cross-body arm swings, stretch your right arm out while keeping it straight at all times and swing it towards the opposite side covering your chest in the process.

Bend your left elbow and hook the right forearm to give it support. Hold this position for a couple of seconds before repeating on the other side. When done correctly, you can feel the back of your shoulders, stretching and relieving tension.

6. Child’s Pose

A popular yoga pose, kneel on the ground with your big toes aligned and touching each other. Spread your knees out wide apart and sit up straight. This is your starting position. Inhale and reach out with your arms straight as you bow forward.

With your face towards the ground, stretch your arms out as much as possible until your palms and elbows are touching the floor. Hold the position for at least a minute or until you can feel the tension in the back of your shoulders.

Preventing Shoulder Pain and Tension

Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and tension

If you know how to prevent shoulder pain in the first place, you wouldn’t have to worry about relieving it so much in the first place. By staying away from the causes listed above in this article, it’s safe to say you will minimize your chances of experiencing stress, pain, or soreness associated with your shoulders. You can prevent shoulder pain and tension by:

  • Regular stretching in the morning, during work, and before bed
  • Watching your posture at work. Get the table height right with your eyes looking directly at the computer without needing to slouch
  • Yoga to relieve stress
  • Watching your form and technique in the gym and preventing injury
  • Plenty of exercises
  • Plenty of rest and sleep
  • Check up with your doctor

When to See a Doctor?

Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and tension

If you are avoiding shoulder pain with preventative action but don’t seem to work, speak with your doctor. If any of the above exercises don’t seem to work for you or you aren’t sure how to execute them properly, speak with your doctor.

Getting professional medical advice will give you a better understanding of your actual condition, its main causes, and the actions you need to take. 

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.