Stiff or tight shoulders are a real problem for many, regardless of their age or gender. But, what causes shoulder tightness? Could you prevent shoulder tightness? Is there anything that you can do about it? Continue reading and to find out.
Shoulder tightness usually is a result of:
- Improper body posture
- Carrying heavy things
- Sitting for a prolonged period of time
- Sitting in front of a PC, especially when the PC is not positioned well,
- Overuse of cell phones,
- Neck and shoulder injuries, etc.
Shoulder tightness tends to get worse with age
Stretching exercises for shoulder pain or tightness can help relieve the pain, muscle tension and the tightness of the neck and shoulder muscles. These exercises are also beneficial for increasing the mobility of the shoulder joint, as well as, helping in posture improvement. Stretching exercises will make your muscles stronger and more flexible as well, which means that you will lower the risk of muscle or joint injuries in the future.
Here are some stretching exercises that could be very beneficial when dealing with shoulder tightness:
Neck stretching is probably something that you have heard about or done it at least once in your life. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to stand with the feet hip-width apart while tipping the team to the right and trying to touch your right shoulder. The same should be repeated for the left side.
This is a forward-bend yoga pose that may help release tension in your shoulders. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to stand with the feet hip-width apart while bending your knees slightly. Bent your body as well and try touching your toes. Place your hands on the elbows of your opposite arm while remaining in this position. Remain in this position for about one minute.
Child’s pose is a yoga pose very beneficial for stretching the back of the shoulders. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to kneel on the ground and touch the ground with the palm and later with your elbows. Sit back, bringing the bottom of the back toward the heels. Breathe deeply, and hold the position for about one minute.
Cow face pose
Yoga is very beneficial for the human body and the cow face pose is one of the yoga exercises that you should give a try when dealing with tight shoulders. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to stand with the feet hip-width apart and to reach your right arm up straight toward the sky and bending in at the elbow. By keeping the elbow raised, reach the right hand over the head and down the back. Stretch the left arm down and reach your right arm from behind your back. Don’t forget to take a couple of deep breaths while clasping both of your arms together. Repeat the same exercise on the other side too.
Cross-body shoulder stretch
The cross-body shoulder stretch helps extend the back of the shoulder. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to stand with feet hip-width apart, stretching the right arm out and bringing the arm across the body, so that the hand points to the floor on the other side of the left leg. Hook the left forearm under the right arm, supporting the right arm above the elbow. Use the left forearm to pull the right arm further in and across the body, stretching the back of the right shoulder. Repeat the same exercise for the other side.
Eagle arm stretch
The eagle arm stretch is another yoga position recommended in cases of shoulder tightness. This stretching exercise aims to increase the flexibility of your shoulders. In order to perform this exercise correctly, you need to stand with feet hip-width apart, lifting the arms to the sides while inhaling and swinging the arms toward the body while exhaling. The right arms should cross under your left arm, and cradle the elbows into one another, bringing the palms together as well. Take a couple of deep breaths while remaining in this position, release your arms and repeat the exercise again.
Cross-body arm swings
To do cross-body arm swings you need to stand with the feet hip-width apart and lift your arms out to the sides. While exhaling, bring the arms towards each other, crossing one arm under the other. While inhaling swing the arms back out to the sides. Repeat this exercise a couple of times.
Side-lying thoracic rotation
This stretching exercise for your shoulders helps improve mobility in the thoracic spine, lumbar spine, and shoulders. In order to perform the exercise correctly, you need to lay on your right side on the ground or a mat while keeping your knees slightly bent. Stretch the right arm straight ahead and place the left hand on top of your right hand. Rotate the left arm toward the floor behind the back, as if drawing an arch in the air while keeping your knees and hips pointing to the right during the entire exercise. Start again from the beginning by bringing the left arm back over to meet the right arm. Also, don’t forget to switch sides, by king on the ground on your left side.
Stretching exercises are very good for your health, but stretching exercises, when accompanied with strengthening exercises, are even better.
How to prevent shoulder tightness?
The best thing you can do for your neck and shoulders is to have and maintain a good body posture especially when spending too many hours in front of a PC in a sitting position. Avoid lifting heavy things if you want to watch your back.
Also, don’t forget the stretching exercises mentioned above together with strengthening exercises for your neck and shoulders which ill prevent shoulder tightness in the long term.
If stretching and strengthening exercises together with a good posture don’t help improve the pain and muscle tightness of your neck and shoulders then it’s time to see a doctor. Getting the right diagnosis is necessary, along with other treatment options that your doctor might recommend for you. Besides medications that aim to relieve the pain and discomfort caused by tight shoulders, other treatment options like massage therapy can be helpful.