- Aug 25
- 3 min read
Stretches to Relieve Shoulder and Thoracic Pain
Sit comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. You can also do this exercise while standing. Roll your shoulders up, then back, and then down in a smooth, circular motion. Repeat slowly five times.
Behind the Back Neck Stretch
This standing stretch can be done anywhere, and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, arms by your sides.
Reach both hands behind your back, and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly.
To increase the stretch in your neck, slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder.
Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.
Posterior shoulder stretch
Grab the back of the arm and pull it across the chest until a stretch is felt in the back of the shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds. Do 3-4 times a day.
Standing in a doorway, place your arms on the frame (the shown positions A, B, C all stretch as different portion of the pectorals so try them all). With one leg in front, step through while keeping your head and chest up. You should feel a stretch across your chest and into the front of your arms. Hold for 30 seconds. Perform 3-4 times a day.
Shoulder extension stretch:
Put both hands behind your back and clasp them together. Raise your hands upward as high as you can without causing pain in your shoulders. Hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds, and be careful not to bounce. Let your hands drop back to the resting position and repeat the stretch two or three times. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Do 5-10 times, 1-2 times a day.
Shoulder blade squeeze
While standing with your arms at your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do not raise your shoulders as you are squeezing. Hold for 6 seconds. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
Lying Hip & Gluteal Stretch
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your back straight. Keep your hips level and your lower back down on the floor. Bend your right knee towards your chest, grabbing it with your left hand. Place your right hand out to the side. Keeping your shoulder blades square (on the floor) use your left hand to guide your right knee across your body and towards the floor on your left side. Breathe deeply and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on opposite side. Stretch to the point of "mild discomfort," not to the point of pain. Never bounce. Keep your shoulders on the floor. Don’t force your knee to the floor if your flexibility does not allow.
-Sphinx pose in Yoga or Prone Prop McKenzie
Get into the prone position lying down on your stomach. Next get on your elbows. If you have a hard time with this position go back into the prone lying position. Do these exercises holding each time for 1-2 seconds 6-8 times per set. This exercise can be repeated every two hours throughout the day
-The Cat-Cow or Cat-Camel
On all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under your shoulders. Inhale and let your belly fall downwards toward the floor as you look up toward the ceiling for 2 seconds. Exhale and arch your back up as far as it will go or until you feel pain. You should not feel pain with this exercise, otherwise you are going too high. At the same time bend your neck forward and look toward your naval. Repeat five times.