Shoulder chiropractic exercises are great for relieving pain, muscle tension and tightness in the shoulders and, in some cases, the neck. Tight or stiff shoulders result in discomfort and limit range of motion. When the pain or stiffness goes unchecked, you may experience neck pain, which will result in tension headaches.
Shoulder pain affects 18% to 26% adults, and chiropractor treatments are often needed to alleviate the pain. Luckily, there are extra steps you can take to relieve pain and discomfort in your shoulders. The following are eight shoulder chiropractic exercises that can ease the pain:
Exercise #1: Neck Release
The neck release is a gentle exercise for relieving tension in your shoulders and neck. To perform it, start by lowering your chin towards your chest. This stretches the back part of your neck. Next, tilt your head gently to the right, and hold the position for one minute to stretch your left shoulder. Repeat this motion on each side 4-5 times.
To deepen the stretch, place one hand on your ear and the other above your shoulder to guide the movement. Lower your chin towards your chest. Next, tilt your head gently to the right to stretch the left shoulder. Hold the position for one minute and repeat on the opposite side. Perform this motion on each side at least 3-5 times.
Exercise #2: Across-the-chest Stretch
This is another chiropractic exercise that increases the range of motion and flexibility in the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles. If you feel some sort of pain in your shoulder when performing this exercise, lower your arm. To do this exercise, place the left arm across your chest. To provide extra support, put it on the inner part of your right elbow.
Hold this position for at least one minute, and repeat with the right arm. Perform 3-5 reps on each side. If you need to deepen the stretch, simply lift your arm up to shoulder height.
Exercise #3: Eagle Arms Spinal Rolls
This exercise is designed to stretch your shoulder muscles. To perform it, start by sitting down and stretching your arms to the sides. Next, cross your elbows with your left arm on top, and then bend your elbows to place the backs of your hands and forearms together. Reach your left hand around to bring both palms together. Hold the position for 10 seconds.
As you breathe out, roll your spine while drawing your elbows in towards your chest. As you inhale, open your chest while lifting your arms. Repeat this movement for up to one minute and then switch to the opposite side. If the arm’s positioning is uncomfortable, perform this exercise by placing your hands on opposite shoulders.
Exercise #4: Chest Expansion
The chest expansion is designed to promote the range of motion and flexibility in your shoulders. To perform this exercise, use both hands to hold a towel, an exercise strap, or a band behind your back while standing. Next, broaden across your chest while moving your shoulder blades towards each other. Finally, lift up your chin to look up towards the ceiling.
Hold the position for 30 seconds, and then repeat 3-5 times. To increase the intensity of the stretch, bring your hands closer together on the band or towel.
Exercise #5: Shoulder Circles
Shoulder circles are great for increasing flexibility and warming up the shoulder joints. To perform this exercise, start by standing with your right hand on the backrest of a chair.
Let your left hand hang down, and then circle it in each direction five times. Repeat this motion using the other hand. Do this exercise 2-3 times per day for the best results.
Exercise #6: Seated Twist
The seated twist is designed to stretch your neck and shoulders. During this exercise, remember to keep your hips facing forward. The twist should start from your lower back. Start by sitting in a chair and placing your ankles directly below your knees.
Next, twist your upper body towards the left to bring the back of your right hand on your thigh. Place your left hand in a comfortable position. Hold the position for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the right side. Do this exercise 3-5 times on each side.
Exercise #7: Doorway Shoulder Stretch
The doorway shoulder stretch is excellent for strengthening your shoulders and opening your chest. To perform it, start by standing in a doorway and form a 90-degree angle with your arms and elbows. Next, step your left foot forward while pressing your palms into the doorframe.
Finally, engage your core as you lean forward. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat the motion with your right foot forward instead. Do this 2-3 times on each side.
Exercise #8: Shoulder Roll
This is an easy exercise designed to stretch your shoulders. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and allow your arms to hang down. Next, breathe in as you lift your shoulders up towards the ears. Move your shoulders back to squeeze the blades together. Now, exhale and drop your shoulders back into the starting position. Repeat this motion 10 times.
Besides improving your range of motion, these strengthening and stretching exercises increase flexibility and make your movements more comfortable.