Shoulder pain affects our ability to workout, sleep, compete, and even do every day tasks around the house. It’s amazing what simple tasks can be affected when our ability to reach overhead or across the body is limited.
It’s even more frustrating when it feels like nothing (rest, ice, heat, massage and even in-home exercises) is helping the shoulder pain start to feel better.
If you have ever experienced Neuro Therapy for your shoulder pain, I’m sure you are well accustomed to a few of these exercises that we do at our clinic.
If you have not, you might be wondering if there is anything you can do to relieve your shoulder pain short of working 1 on 1 with a qualified health professional - I'm sure there is someone out there in the Towson, Lutherville-Timonium, Cockeysville, or Hunt Valley area willing to help ;-).
Or, perhaps you are not looking for a 100% fix to the shoulder pain, but maybe something that will at least treat the shoulder pain (perhaps help sleep a little better) until you can actually make moves on a real shoulder therapy program.
If you can relate to any of those things, you are in for a treat as the 2 exercises we will discuss are some of the most basic, yet useful movements you can perform at home to learn more about your shoulder pain as it relates to potential:
Ultimately, whether you find yourself really struggling with these exercises or cruising through the movement with minor difficulty, my recommendation would be to work these two exercises 3-5x per week in a range of motion that you feel most comfortable. As far as duration, aim for 5 minutes of extremely focused, active work for each exercise (total of 10 minutes).
Exercise #1: Teeter Totter
Stand with your feet 6-8 inches apart, toes pointing straight ahead, and upper body erect with your chest separated from the sternum. Your head should be kept in line with the body and your eyes looking straight ahead. Your hands are holding a broomstick, PVC pipe, or a wooden dowel (or something similar) horizontally with a straight elbow and wrist (knuckles aimed at ground). This is the ideal starting position.
To start the movement, use your lats to pull the left shoulder down and lengthen the arm (no bend in elbow) at the same time. Doing so will cause the opposite shoulder to rise slightly creating a teeter-totter motion. Pause for 1 count and then reverse the movement by pulling your shoulder back to the starting position as described above. Once you have returned to the starting position, you will repeat the same movement with the right arm. Continue to alternate between the left and right until 5 repetitions of the teeter-totter movement have been completed with proper movement on each side.
Sounds simple right? Well, let’s dive in a little while thinking about the educational part of this process from the list above.
Questions to ask yourself:
There is definitely a lot to think about here but finding out these answers and doing something about them can provide so much information in regard to what’s contributing to your shoulder pain.
Ultimately, these questions are exactly what we focus on when going through a session at Premier to help relieve your shoulder pain. The only difference is that we use technology to make the process more efficient :-)
Let’s now take a look at our second very basic movement that you can perform at home to learn more about your shoulder pain. Remember, keep in mind the educational piece we just discussed and use that as your lens to navigate through the second movement, as well. Just incase, here they are again (from above):
Exercise #2: Front Delt Raise
Stand with your feet 6-8 inches apart, toes pointing straight ahead, and upper body erect with your chest separated from the sternum. Your head should be kept in line with the body and your eyes looking straight ahead. Your arms are resting at your sides holding onto a broomstick, PVC pipe, or a wooden dowel (or something similar) with wrists directly below the shoulder. This is the ideal starting position.
From this position, raise the arms with extended/straight elbows (no bend) until they are directly over your head. Pause for 1 count and then reverse the movement by using your lats to pull the arms (with elbows extended/straight) back down to the starting position.
Easy, right? Not so fast….
Questions to ask yourself:
It’s definitely possible that by reading this list of questions, you are overwhelmed and even more frustrated than when you started. That is completely ok and completely expected. You have to start somewhere and if you are truly looking to relieve your shoulder pain or find the ultimate fix, it requires an attention to detail that was not previously there and a very deep understanding of how your movement patterns could help get rid of your shoulder pain.
With that being said, everyone is different and will experience a different recovery rate and path to improving the shoulder pain so do your best to stay focused on you and your path to getting rid of your shoulder pain.
If you run through this list, your form is perfect, but yet still experience shoulder pain, it’s possible it would just require a deeper dive into all of these questions by a qualified health professional. Sometimes (and I am even guilty of it!), we think everything looks good until someone else gets their eyes on us and within seconds, we are brought back down to reality ;-)
But let’s keep it simple for now - start with the ideal starting position. Can you hit the cues for the ideal starting position? If you can, great. Move on to the next cue.
If you can’t, that’s great too - start by perfecting the ideal starting position and DO NOT move on until your form is perfect.
Lastly, don't forget the recommendation on frequency and duration: 3-5x a week for a total of 5 min on each exercise.
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About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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Local to the Towson, Lutherville-Timonium, Cockeysville, or
Hunt Valley area?
Friends & Family receive a FREE Discovery Session at Premier!