Tight shoulders and bad posture have become more common as we all start working from home. The shoulders are an extremely complex area to treat as there are four different joints in the area.
“When you want to stretch tight shoulders, it’s not as simple as stretching a single muscle. All of the muscles that support the shoulder joints comprise the shoulder muscle group. The rotator cuff alone includes four muscles,”says Elizabeth Lamontagne, P.T., DPT, SCS, CKTP, assistant director and physical therapist at Recovery Physical Therapy in New York City.
However, it is possible to treat some tension and pain at home Here are some stretches to try to treat your shoulder pain.
1. Wall slides
Wall stretches are one of the most effective stretches for shoulder pain. Begin by standing facing a blank wall with both hands on the wall, shoulder-distance apart.
Then slide your hands up to stretch your arms overhead and reach as far as you can without feeling pain. Hold the stretch for one or two seconds and repeat for a total of 10 times. Finally, end your routine by returning to the starting position.
2. Thread the Needle
The thread the needle stretch is a great way to stretch out a variety of shoulder muscles at once. Begin by kneeling on all fours with your knees slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
Slowly slide your left hand along the floor behind your right wrist until your shoulder is on the floor and hold for three to five breaths. Reverse the movement, and lift your left arm into the air, twisting to gaze upward. Repeat the entire five reps.
3. Side-Lying Windmills
To stretch out your shoulders and back try side-lying windmills. Begin by laying down on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked then slowly bend your knees at a 90-degree angle bringing them in line with your hips.
Then stack your arms, and hold them straight out parallel to your thighs. Keeping your hips and legs in the same place begin to circle your right arm above your head so that it is opposite your left. Allow your chest to stretch open and your right shoulder blade to touch the floor. Repeat five times on each side.
4. Cow-Face Pose
Cow Face Pose stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, and chest as well as the hips and legs. You may find that it is easier to do the post on one side of the body than the other.
To achieve this post, begin by sitting on the floor then bend your knees and put your feet on the floor. Slide your left foot under the right knee and towards the outside of the right hip. Next, cross your right leg over the left so that the right knee is stacked over the left with the right foot on the outside of the left hip. Lastly, link your arms behind your back in the same manner shown in the image.
5. Triceps Stretch
This is a very simple stretch that works for everyone. Begin by standing or sitting in a comfortable position and raise your right arm straight up before bending your elbow and placing your right palm behind your head.
Then place your left hand on your right elbow and pull toward the left. Be careful to not pull too hard and hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Switch to the other arm and repeat the steps.