Shoulder pain is among the most common orthopedic reasons patients seek medical advice. Many patients ask us about a program to prevent injuries and maintain peak shoulder performance. Regardless of age, all body movements start from your core. A great portion of your power and speed is also generated from your core. So in addition to the following stretches for your shoulder, we recommend adding a core strengthening program to the flexibility routine we outline for you below. If you would like more resources or information regarding a core program, please contact us.
Along with a good core strengthening program, the following stretches for your shoulder will let you maximize your potential and avoid pain and injury for any activity. Age, overhead sports, and many other ailments all can contribute to increasing stiffness in your shoulders. Stiffness of the posterior rotator cuff and capsule can result in an increased risk of pain and rotator cuff injury.
For each stretch first relax your shoulder completely, push your arm gently as far as possible trying to push just slightly beyond the limit each time. Hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds and relax. For best results gently stretch your shoulder as shown for a brief period at least 4-5 times daily. We also recommend a stretching session as the first thing every morning and the last thing every evening.
Cross Arm Adduction: With your arm relaxed you will be pulling it across your body to stretch the back of your shoulder. You can do this either lying down, sitting, or standing.
Supine Internal Rotation: While lying down turn slightly onto the side to be stretched (left in these photos). Push your arm away from your body until your shoulder and arm make a straight line. Now push your wrist down and hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. The goal is to gradually stretch enough to allow your hand to come all the way down easily.