Do you find your shoulders aching at the end of the day or when you have to reach for items?
Your shoulders have to move through an incredible 180 degrees of motion, while still maintaining stability and strength. However, issues like rotator cuff injuries can make your shoulders achy and harder to move. Physical therapists can help you find effective ways to treat aching shoulders. Here are three options that can be especially helpful:
Improve your shoulder posture
There are several types of poor posture that can lead to achy shoulders, but one of the most common is rounded shoulders. This type of poor posture occurs when your shoulders roll forward and stay there for long periods of time. Rounded shoulders are especially common among people who do lots of computer work. One study reports that 73% of its participants had a right rounded shoulder and 66% had a left rounded shoulder.
Physical therapists can show you how to perform therapeutic exercises and stretches to improve shoulder posture. In turn, this can realign the shoulder structures and reduce your pain.
Increase rotator cuff muscle strength
The rotator cuff is a set of four muscles and tendons that help stabilize and move your shoulder. These muscles can become weak through overuse, underuse or poor posture. Weakness in your rotator cuff increases its chances of being injured, and this could be the reason why up to 40% of people experience rotator cuff injuries in their lifetime.
Your physical therapist can recommend therapeutic exercises designed to increase rotator cuff strength and reduce shoulder aching. One effective option is the newspaper opening exercise, and you can do this exercise by doing the following:
- Sit or stand with good posture.
- Bend your arms at the elbow so that they form a 90-degree angle.
- Start with your forearms straight out in front of you with your thumbs facing up.
- Move your forearms outward while keeping your elbows at your sides, like you’re opening a newspaper or magazine.
- Repeat this movement 10 to 15 times.
Stabilize your shoulder blades
Your scapula, or shoulder blade, is an attachment point for several key shoulder muscles. These muscles help you maintain good shoulder posture, but they can’t do their job if they’re weak and unstable.
One option that a physical therapist may recommend for this cause of achy shoulders is to do regular shoulder blade exercises. An example of such exercises is shoulder blade squeezes. To do this exercise:
- Sit or stand up straight and drop your shoulders back and downward.
- Hold this position for about five seconds, and then release.
- Repeat these steps between 10 and 15 times throughout the day.
Back in Motion offers effective physical therapy for achy shoulders
Looking for more treatment options for your achy shoulders? Our therapy specialists at Back in Motion can help you find effective treatment for your pain. Using one of our free screenings, we can pinpoint the source of your shoulder pain. Our physical therapists can then build you a personalized therapy plan designed to reduce your pain and prevent it from returning.
We also offer other helpful options, too. For instance, we have a physical therapy newsletter that can help people find ways to address many issues and medical conditions. Additionally, our team can help people from home thanks to our virtual care and at-home therapy services. We can even get you started with your physical therapy if you don’t yet have a doctor’s referral.
Contact us today for more information about our physical therapy services or to schedule an initial appointment.