Do you suffer from shoulder pain? If so, you’re not alone since this is a problem that affects millions of people, worldwide, at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, shoulder pain can last for a long time if not treated.

The good news is that you can make some simple changes to feel better. Here are some behavior modifications you can do, along with how physical therapy can help to relieve your discomfort.

Common Reasons for Shoulder Pain

One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is a condition known as shoulder impingement. Rotator cuff tendons pressing on the coracoacromial arch of your shoulder can result in pain when performing reaching movements.

Besides shoulder impingement and torn rotator cuff, other top causes include pinched nerves in the shoulder or neck, bone spurs, broken shoulder or arm bone, arthritis, tendonitis, and bursitis. Some people have shoulder pain because of a problem known as adhesive capsulitis. This condition involves extreme immobility or stiffness in a shoulder joint. This is usually the result of an injury to the joint’s adhesions, along with inflammation of the capsule in the humerus.

Check and Improve Your Posture

One of the main causes of shoulder pain is poor posture. One way to understand how posture can change your shoulder’s available motion is to sit in a slouched position. Then raise your arm as high as you can. Check for any tightness as well as pinching. Next, sit in a chair, using your best possible posture, complete the same exercise and see if your motion improves. Also, see if there are any changes in pain.

Another way you can obtain better shoulder motion is by rolling your shoulders up and then back. Let your shoulders relax downward as you lightly tuck your chin down.

Make Ergonomic Changes for Correcting Shoulder Pain

Adjust your work environment 

If you have a poor workstation design, you can easily suffer from shoulder pain. This is because the positions that your shoulders are forced to be placed in are not ideal. For example, your computer mouse may be too far away. Another problem is a keyboard that is too far away. This can result in working in a slouched or slumped position.

Thus, to protect yourself from shoulder pain, be sure your computer screen and chair are correctly set up. Furthermore, make sure your feet have good support, either from a footrest or on the floor, as this prevents you from having a slumped posture.

Improve your sleeping environment 

How you sleep can be an important factor in shoulder pain. For example, consider changing your sleeping position, such as sleeping on your unaffected side or sleeping on your back. If this doesn’t help, try some shoulder stretches that can relax your muscles. Be sure to use pillows that support your neck and body.

Do Physical Therapy Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Physical therapists use several types of exercises for treating shoulder pain, including:

Pendulum or arm stretches 

This type of exercise for shoulder pain involves moving the arm in big circles about 20 times. Have your feet shoulder-width apart and be in a standing position with your arms facing down at your sides. After doing them in a forward motion, reverse your arms, doing the exercise in a backward motion. Do these at least once each day so that you can improve your range of motion.

Shoulder blade squeezes 

This exercise is designed for improving your posture so that your shoulders can function properly. It involves standing tall and straight. Next, you pull the shoulder blades in a downward direction and then back, bringing the elbows back as well as inward. Go back to your starting position, doing three sets of 10.

Shoulder rolls

Roll your shoulders up and then back. Let your shoulders relax as you lightly tuck your chin down and sit up on your hips again.

Plank exercise

This is a full-body exercise designed for back strengthening, besides making your shoulders stronger. Rather than doing them on the hands, do them on the elbows. While lying on your stomach, bend your elbows. After tightening the abdominal muscles and lifting the knees and hips from off the floor, hold for about 30 seconds. Return to your starting position, resting for another 30 seconds. Repeat. Do this five times every day.

Other Considerations and Warnings 

  • Set a timer for every 20-30 minutes to check your posture.
  • There are also some workplace exercises you can do, such as stretching and those that focus on the shoulders, neck, hand, lower back, and wrist.
  • Consider getting a standing desk for a seated job.
  • Stretch more frequently throughout the day.
  • Move more in general.

Don’t continue to suffer from shoulder pain. Contact us for a free screen to access posture by emailing or call us at 570-208-2787