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Help, My Shoulder Hurts! Try these 5 Physical Therapy Exercises for shoulder pain!

If you're reading this and wondering how to get rid of shoulder pain, you're not alone. Many people are prone to shoulder injuries because the shoulder is a powerful joint easily harmed during routine body movements.

If you've ever had shoulder discomfort, you know how aggravating the issue can be. Although most individuals relate shoulder pain with daily tasks such as lifting goods or getting tangled in their garments, determining the source of your pain can be tricky.

Keeping your shoulders healthy is essential for maintaining strength and flexibility. When you reach up high or play sports, strong shoulders help support your arms and keep them from turning numb. When your shoulders aren't strong enough, they cause difficulties throughout your body. For example, if weak shoulders are not treated, they can lead to back or neck problems.

Here are some good exercises to help with shoulder pain:

#1 Across the Chest

All physiotherapists always recommend this exercise. It's perfect for incorporating into your usual morning stretches.


  1. Cross your right arm over your chest.

  2. Place it in the crease of your left elbow or support your arm with your left hand.

  3. Maintain this position for up to one minute.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Repeat each side 3-5 times.

It is intended to assist the shoulder joint and muscles in maintaining or improving flexibility and range of motion. Also, lower your shoulders if you encounter pain while executing the exercise.

#2 Pendulum

Physiotherapists typically recommend a variety of exercises. The pendulum or Codman exercise, developed by Edina Codman, is a common passive shoulder exercise advised during shoulder rehabilitation.


  1. Begin the pendulum exercise by leaning over and using a table or chair to support your non-injured arm.

  2. Allow the aching arm to dangle straight down before drawing circles in the air.

  3. The circles should begin small but progressively expand in size, and you should also flip directions regularly.

  4. It would help if you repeated this practice 5 to 10 times throughout the day.

This approach promotes healing and allows for a range of motion movement without putting a load on newly repaired or injured structures.

#3 Neck Release

Neck release is one of the simplest and most effective exercises for relieving shoulder discomfort. This practice is a simple approach to relaxing your neck and shoulders.


  1. Bring your chin to your chest. You will feel a stretch along the back of your neck.

  2. To stretch your right shoulder, gently tilt your head to the left.

  3. Maintain this position for up to one minute.

  4. Repeat on the other side.

  5. Repeat each side 3-5 times.

#4 Chest Expansion

A Chest Expansion stretch helps to open the chest and stretch the muscles in front of the shoulder. It improves shoulder flexibility and range of motion.


  1. Locate some wall space in an empty part of the room.

  2. Place your elbows to forearms on the walls at 90°/90° and slowly lean forward until you feel a slight stretch at the front of your shoulder/upper chest.

  3. Take care not to over arch your back.

  4. Maintain calm, deep breathing for at least 30 seconds.

  5. Repeat 2-3 times more.

#5 Downward Dog Pose

This exercise can be tricky. If you are a novice, you may require assistance. This inversion pose strengthens and expands your shoulder and back muscles.


  1. Begin by getting down on your hands and knees. Lift your hips toward the ceiling by pressing into your hands.

  2. Maintain a small bend in your knees while evenly distributing your weight between your hands and feet.

  3. Maintaining a straight spine, bring your head toward your feet with your shoulders flexed overhead.

  4. Hold this stance for a minute.

A common error in this stance is having a rounded lower back instead of a straight spine. To correct this, bend your knees deeply and strive to tilt your coccyx up to the ceiling a little more.

In Summary

In this article, we've shown you the best exercises for shoulder pain and explained how to do them correctly so you can start feeling better in no time. Regarding shoulder-strengthening exercises, the abovementioned exercises are only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other alternatives.

The goal is to get moving. Try something new and see what feels best. Regularly performing these exercises will enhance your range of motion, strength, and flexibility. Continue reading our other articles to learn more about related topics.

Learn more about physical therapy exercises for pain relief.

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