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Shoulder pain is very common in a lot people. Shoulder pain that is not related to a traumatic injury, can occur because of muscle tightness or muscle weakness in your upper body. A muscle imbalance between the muscles around your shoulder can lead to pain when you move your arm. It is very important to give attention to muscles that are around your shoulder, and not just focusing on your shoulder muscles themselves. In order for your arm to move correctly and pain-free, your shoulder blade needs to move also. I often find that people who have shoulder pain, have tightness in their pec muscles (chest muscles) and weakness in the muscles around their shoulder blades, specifically the muscles toward the middle of the back. This can lead to improper mechanics at your shoulder when you move your arm, which can lead to pain. Below are 3 simple exercises, that you can try if you are having pain in your shoulder(s). If you do not see any changes in your shoulder pain after trying these exercises, you will likely benefit from a one-on-one examination by a physical therapist.

When performing the “Corner Stretch” for your chest muscles, you want to make sure that your hands are even (one hand is not higher than the other on the wall) before performing the stretch. You only want to lean into the stretch until you feel a gentle stretch in the front of your chest/shoulders. You should NOT have any pain when performing this stretch.

When performing the “Scap Squeeze” exercise, you want to make sure that you are sitting or standing up straight, not slouched. It is very important to remember to pull your shoulder blades down AND back, as if your shoulder blade is going into the opposite back pocket of your pants. This will help you to remember to keep your shoulders down, away from your ears. Again, you should have no pain with this exercise.

It is very important when performing the “Bent Arm Row” exercise, to make sure you are squeezing your shoulder blade as you pull your arm up. Keep your elbow bent and raise your elbow toward the ceiling while squeezing your shoulder blade down and back. Keep your shoulder away from your ear.

When performing the “Serratus Punch” exercise, you want to make sure that your hands are even and your elbows stay straight throughout the entire exercise. It’s also important to remember to keep your shoulders away from your ears. Simply, reach toward the ceiling with both hands bringing your shoulders off the ground, then slowly bringing your shoulders back down to the ground. You should have no pain with this exercise.