3 Things to Help Relieve Shoulder Pain
Having shoulder pain is no fun. Do you feel a sharp twinge in your shoulder with certain movements? What about tension in your neck or a tingling sensation in your fingers with certain movements? If you feel these things or similar discomforts, than you’re not alone. I find that most people feel this pain as a result of sitting too long or from doing repetitive movements throughout the day. Some people think their shoulders are weak, so the they try to do shoulder exercises in the gym to strengthen their shoulders. This isn’t a bad idea, however most people choose shoulder exercises that contribute to inflammation and pain, instead of alleviating it. I would take a different approach to relieving shoulder pain.
The 3 step approach:
Step 1: Stretch out your chest. I would suggest stretching using a wall, TRX, or foam roller. The foam roller is my favorite because you can utilize gravity to help deepen the stretch and improve your shoulder range of motion. Why stretch your chest? The answer is that most people have a tight chest and rounded shoulders do to poor posture. This causes the space in your shoulder capsule to be limited, which means less room for the muscles that support the shoulder to move freely. This lack of freedom is what causes the sharp pain or tingling sensation that we identified earlier.
Step 2: SMR (self myofascial release) everything around your shoulder. I would suggest getting a lacrosse ball and rolling out your upper traps, around your shoulder blades, the middle of your back, and your chest. It’s an easy thing that you can do while sitting in the car, at your desk, or at your home. Reference this YouTube video to learn more about SMR.
Step 3: Strengthen your mid back with Rows. Any sort of horizontal pulling exercise will be effective in strengthening your middle back. These are the muscles that oppose your chest muscles. If your back is stronger, then you’ll be able to maintain your posture better. With better posture, you can help to open up your shoulders more and in turn alleviate the pain.
Now that you’ve got the 3 steps down, try to practice them as often as possible! If you need more examples of horizontal pulling exercises, then check out my Instagram for inspiration. Also feel free to comment below with any questions that you have.