Neck & Shoulder Pain

10 Best Rotator Cuff Pain Stretches

These rotator cuff pain stretches are great for the rotator cuff muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis), as well as many of the muscles around the shoulder and that connect to the scapula and can cause shoulder pain and rotator cuff pain.

All of these shoulder muscles work together, so it’s important to stretch the whole shoulder, not just the specific rotator cuff muscles.

The first set of stretches are pendulums. These are circles, side to side, and front to back. They really help open up the shoulder joint and get all the muscles warmed up.

Next is a scaption stretch. This is not flexion and it’s not abduction, but it’s right in the middle of the two. It’s usually a more comfortable position, and helps stretch many of the shoulder muscles.

The next three are using a stick, PVC pipe, broom, or cane to help with the stretch. These can be passive or active assisted stretches. They help when you might be on precautions and are not suppose to actively lift your arm, or when it just hurts too much to do it actively. They are shoulder flexion, shoulder abduction, and shoulder external rotation.

Using a wall to help support your arm is also very effective when doing wall slides. You can also use the wall or corner for a chest stretch.

Internal rotation can be very hard to get back when you have a shoulder injury or surgery. An internal rotation towel stretch and the sleeper stretch are great for this.

Finally, a prayer stretch or child’s pose is a great way to relax your arms and get a great shoulder stretch.

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10 Best Neck Exercises for Neck Pain Relief

Neck exercises can help prevent neck pain by strengthening the neck muscles, which can help prevent neck injuries. When our neck muscles are weak, they can press on nerves and cause instability.

These are my favorite neck strengthening exercises.

The first is a chin tuck. Chin tucks are not only a great way to strengthen your neck muscles, but they also help correct bad posture by “resetting” the muscles.

The next exercise is a shoulder squeeze. This does a great job of strengthening the trap muscles as well as the rhomboid muscles, and they help open up the chest.

Cervical isometric exercises including extension, flexion, rotation, and sidebending are a good way to start the strengthening process. These work really well when the full movement is either too painful or when you might not be able to do the movement yet per precautions.

The next two exercises use a resistive band for sidebending, rotation and chin tucks. Resistive bands do a great job of getting the concentric and eccentric movement of the muscles.

The last exercise is a shoulder shrug. You can do these with or without weights, and you can do them by standing on a resistive band.

Thanks to Axis Scientific for giving us Dr. Mo Musclestein. Learn more about this muscle replica model and Axis Scientific's other great products.

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10 Best Neck Pain Stretches

Neck pain relief stretches are great for the many muscles in our neck because when any of them are tight, they can cause neck pain, tension headaches, and decreased motion. Neck injuries that can also benefit from neck stretches include cervical spondylosis, cervical stenosis, cervical strain, and many others.

These top 10 stretches are the ones I have found work best for me as well as my patients.

The first set of stretches are active range of motion (AROM) movements. These are to help loosen up the muscles and get them warm before you stretch them out. These are cervical rotation, cervical sidebend, cervical extension, and cervical flexion.

The neck stretch is both a stretch and exercise. It’s one of my favorites because it really helps “reset” the neck muscles, especially when you spend long periods of time looking at a computer screen. This one is great to correct bad posture.

A chest stretch and anterior scalene stretch focuses on the muscles in front of your neck and chest area. They help open up the area and takes pressure off the neck.

The upper trapezius and levator scapulae stretches focus on the muscles in the back of the neck. They often have trigger points, and can cause a lot of neck pain and headaches.

The final stretch is a cervical rotation stretch with a towel. This helps to stretch each segment of your cervical spine at a time. They are also called SNAGs, and do a great job of loosening up the facet joints.

Thanks to Axis Scientific for giving us Dr. Mo Musclestein. Learn more about this muscle replica model and Axis Scientific's other great products.

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Shoulder Tendonitis Exercises for Pain Relief

Shoulder exercises are great for shoulder tendonitis pain relief. This inflammation to the tendons in your shoulder can be the rotator cuff tendons or even the biceps or triceps tendons. There doesn’t always have to be inflammation with the pain, and this is called rotator cuff tendinopathy.

Shoulder tendonitis treatment can be strengthening with and without weights or resistive bands. The first set of exercises can be classified as an exercise or a stretch. Pendulums are very important in any shoulder injury. You can do these with a weight or without a weight.

Shoulder shrugs and shoulder squeezes can be done without a weight or band, but you can add them in later if they become easy. These help strengthen the upper traps and rhomboid muscles.

Resistive bands are a great way to strengthen the shoulder, but make sure you get the right resistance for you. Shoulder external rotation, shoulder flexion, shoulder extension, shoulder abduction, and shoulder scaption work the whole shoulder to help reset the muscles and keep them strong.

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Shoulder Tendonitis Stretches for Pain Relief

Shoulder stretches are great for shoulder tendonitis which is basically an inflammation to the tendons in your shoulder. This can be the rotator cuff tendons or even the biceps or triceps tendons. There doesn’t always have to be inflammation with the pain, and this is called rotator cuff tendinopathy. Shoulder tendonitis stretches can help ease the pain in the shoulder.

Shoulder tendonitis treatment involves stretching and exercising the shoulder.  The first set of stretches can be classified as an exercise or a stretch.  Pendulums are very important in any shoulder injury. You can do these with a weight or without a weight.

Using a wall to support your arm is a great way to stretch your shoulder.  You can do wall slides into shoulder flexion, scaption, and abduction.  You can also use a corner to stretch your chest or pec muscles.

Another great way to improve shoulder motion is by using a stick or cane to help stretch the shoulder.  By moving it with the “good side” you can get a good overall stretch. You can use this for shoulder flexion, shoulder abduction, and shoulder external rotation.

The last stretch is usually the toughest and hardest to get back.  Shoulder internal rotation is very important to reach behind and up our back.  You can use a belt or strap to help with the stretch.

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