Are you tired of shoulder pain interfering with your daily life? You’re not alone. Shoulder pain is a common issue that affects millions of people worldwide. Fortunately, stretching exercises can be an effective way to alleviate shoulder pain and improve overall shoulder health. In this article, you can find some of the most effective stretching exercises for shoulder pain relief and other helpful tips to reduce shoulder pain.

Say goodbye to shoulder pain with our guide to the best stretching exercises for shoulder pain relief.

In this article:


Common causes of shoulder pain
Photo by Kindel Media

Shoulder pain is a common complaint that affects millions of people worldwide. Shoulder pain has various causes, ranging from overuse injuries to chronic conditions. Understanding the underlying causes of shoulder pain is essential to effectively treating and managing this condition.

One of the most common causes is overuse injuries, resulting from repetitive movements, lifting heavy objects, throwing a ball, or typing on a computer keyboard for long periods. Overuse injuries can cause inflammation in the shoulder’s tendons, muscles, and ligaments, leading to pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

Another common cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff injuries. Rotator cuff injuries can happen suddenly, such as from a fall or lifting something heavy. Symptoms can include pain, weakness, and reduced mobility.

In older adults, arthritis is one of the common causes of shoulder pain. You should remember that shoulder pain may also be a symptom of more severe conditions, such as a heart attack or lung problems.

So, if you are experiencing shoulder pain interfering with your daily activities or quality of life, seeking medical attention is a good idea. Your doctor can help you to determine the pain’s cause and to recommend the appropriate treatment, for example, stretching exercises for your shoulder.


stretching exercises for shoulder pain relief
Photo by Marta Wave

If you want quick and easy shoulder pain relief, look no further than Doctor Jo’s fantastic video on simple shoulder stretches! With her expert guidance, you can alleviate the pain or discomfort you may be experiencing in your shoulders and get back to your daily routine. The best thing is that you can do these exercises in 5 minutes, which is perfect for people complaining they don’t have time.

Here’s what stretching exercises for shoulder pain relief should include:


Always start these exercises with a warm-up, and you can quickly warm up the muscles with circular shoulder movements and shoulder squeezes.

Cross-arm stretch

Take your right arm and lift it across your chest, keeping your elbow bent. Use your left hand to gently pull your right arm closer to your body until you feel a stretch in your right shoulder. It is essential to avoid pulling too hard or stretching too far, as this can cause further strain or injury to your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch and repeat on the other side.

Triceps stretch

Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand down your back. Use your left hand to gently press your right elbow further down your back until you feel a stretch in your right triceps muscle. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch and repeat on the other side.

External rotation

Keep your right elbow bent to 90 degrees, and use your left arm to hold your right forearm in place. Slowly rotate your forearm away from your body, keeping your elbow bent. It’s important to avoid forcing your arm into a position that causes pain or discomfort, as this can cause further strain or injury to your shoulder. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Slowly release the stretch and repeat on the other side.

Chest stretch

Clasp your hands behind your back, with your palms facing inwards. Gently lift your arms away from your body and straighten your elbows while keeping your shoulders relaxed and your chest lifted. You should feel a stretch in your chest and the front of your shoulders. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch and repeat as needed.

Upper trap stretch

Sit on your right hand and slowly pull your head to the opposite side with your left hand. Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds. Release the stretch and repeat on the other side.

It’s important to note that, as with any new exercise routine, you should consult a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe. Check out the video below to learn how to do these stretches correctly. With the help of Doctor Jo and her excellent stretching exercises, you will get rid of shoulder pain in just 5 minutes.

Video by AskDoctorJo


Stretching is incredibly effective for promoting shoulder health and improving overall well-being. By incorporating regular stretching exercises into your daily routine, you can strengthen your shoulder joint’s flexibility and mobility, which can help to prevent injury and reduce the risk of chronic pain and discomfort.

In addition to improving physical health, this type of exercise is also great for our mental health. For example, when we are in a bad mood, our muscles become tense and tight, leading to physical discomfort and exacerbating our negative emotions. Stretching can help to relieve muscle tension, improve blood flow, and promote relaxation, which can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Doing stretching exercises for just a few minutes can improve your overall quality of life and make you feel more energized and revitalized.

Stretching can also help to improve posture, which can have a significant impact on shoulder health. Poor posture can cause muscle imbalances and lead to shoulder pain and discomfort over time.

So, start today and make stretching exercises for shoulder health a regular part of your daily routine.

How often should you stretch?

stretching exercises for shoulder how often
Photo by Yan Krukau

The stretching frequency depends on several factors, including your fitness level, lifestyle, and personal goals. However, as a general guideline, stretching at least 2-3 times per week is recommended.

For individuals who are more physically active or have a specific fitness goal, such as improving flexibility, it may be beneficial to stretch more frequently. Daily stretching may be more appropriate in these cases.
Listening to your body and avoiding overstretching or pushing beyond your limits is essential. Instead, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your stretching routine over time which will help improve flexibility and prevent injury.

Whether 2-3 times per week or daily, you should incorporate stretching exercises for shoulder health into your routine. Your shoulders (and your entire body) will thank you!


Reduce shoulder pain
Photo by Anna Tarazevich

In addition to stretching exercises for shoulder pain relief, several other strategies also can help:

  • Rest and ice: If you’ve recently injured your shoulder, rest and ice can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Apply ice to the affected area for 20 minutes several times per day.
  • Heat therapy: Heat can also help reduce shoulder pain and stiffness. Use a heat wrap, warm shower, or bath to help loosen tight muscles.

Shoulder Wrap for Hot and Cold Therapy

  • Posture correction: Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain and stiffness. Making a conscious effort to sit and stand up straight can help to improve alignment and reduce strain on the shoulders.
  • Massage: Massage can help promote relaxation and reduce shoulder tension. A massage ball can be an excellent solution for applying pressure to specific areas. You can seek a professional massage therapist for a more targeted approach.

Massage Ball for Shoulder Pain Relief

Remember, if your shoulder pain persists or worsens despite these strategies, seeking medical attention to rule out any underlying conditions or injuries is essential.


Try to reduce pain and discomfort with the simple stretching exercises for shoulder health outlined in this article. Don’t let shoulder pain hold you back from your daily activities. Start stretching today and enjoy pain-free life!

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