Shoulder impingement exercises: Exercises to Reclaim Pain-Free Movement

Shoulder impingement exercises

Shoulder impingement exercises

 

Shoulder impingement exercises, that nagging pain when you reach overhead, can sideline activities you love. But fear not! Targeted exercises can ease discomfort, strengthen your shoulder, and get you moving again.

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have pain or a medical condition.

Understanding Shoulder Impingement:

Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendons and bursa (fluid-filled sac) in your shoulder rub against the bony arch above it. This can happen due to repetitive overhead motions, tight muscles, or weakness in the rotator cuff muscles that support your shoulder joint.

Shoulder impingement exercises

The Exercise Prescription:

Here are some effective exercises to address shoulder impingement, categorized by their focus:

1. Pain Relief & Mobility:

Pendulum swings: Stand with your knees slightly bent and lean forward. Relax your affected arm and let it swing gently back and forth in a small arc. Repeat 10-15 times.
Doorway stretches: Stand in a doorway and place your forearm on the frame, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Lean your chest through the doorway to feel a stretch in your front shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Cross-body shoulder stretch: With your elbow bent, reach your hand across your chest and gently pull it closer with your other hand. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
2. Rotator Cuff Strengthening:

Isometric internal and external rotation: Sit or stand with a rolled towel under your armpit (affected side). Press your hand into a wall for internal rotation and away from the wall for external rotation. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times for each direction.
Light dumbbell rows: Use light weights and proper form to target your rotator cuff muscles. Start with 10-12 repetitions per set and gradually increase weight as tolerated.
External rotation with the band: Anchor a resistance band to a doorknob and loop it around your wrist. With your elbow bent at 90 degrees, rotate your forearm away from your body. Repeat 10-12 times per set.

Shoulder impingement exercises

3. Scapular Control & Stability:

Scapular squeezes: Pinch your shoulder blades together and hold for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Wall slides: Stand facing a wall with your arms at shoulder height, and forearms flat against the wall. Slide your forearms up the wall as you shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. Slide back down and repeat 10 times.
Prone Y raises: Lie on your stomach with your arms outstretched in a “Y” shape. Lift your arms slightly off the ground, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Hold for 5 seconds and lower. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder impingement exercises

Remember:

Consistency is key: Perform these exercises regularly, even when pain-free, to maintain progress.
Start slow and progress gradually: Increase repetitions, sets, or weights only as tolerated without pain.
Listen to your body: Stop any exercise that causes pain and consult your healthcare professional if the pain persists.
Seek professional guidance: A physical therapist can create a personalized exercise program based on your specific needs and condition.
By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can effectively manage shoulder impingement and reclaim pain-free movement. Remember, consistency and proper form are crucial for optimal results. So, move with intention, listen to your body, and get back to doing what you love!

 

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