Neck & Shoulder Pain

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. If you have a question, just ask. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Rotator Cuff Exercises with Resistive Bands

If you are having shoulder pain, most likely the rotator cuff is involved. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. They are very important in shoulder movement and stability. You can have a strain, sprain, partial tear, or full thickness tear of the muscles.

This video will show you some simple strengthening exercises standing up to get your rotator cuff strong again. You will need a resistive band for these exercises and a door to hold the band in place. Put a knot in the middle of your band, and close the door on the band. For the first exercise, place the band above your head. Make sure the door is closed!!  You are going to do rows. Try staggering your feet so you can get a good stable stance. You want to keep your elbows in close to your body and make a rowing motion. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you pull back. Make sure you are using a slow controlled motion. Try 10-15, and work your way up to 20-25, then increase the band. You want to repeat this with the band anchored right in front of you, and then down below by your feet. 

The next set of exercises is going to be internal and external rotation of your shoulder. Anchor the band right in front of you again. You want to be able to hold your arm bent with the elbow at a 90-degree angle. First is external rotation. Start with your arm at your stomach, and pull out to parallel with the door. Then you can turn around for internal rotation. Have your arm parallel with the door, and then pull your arm into your stomach.

The last exercise is bicep curls. You can step on the band, and keep your elbow by your side. Pull all the way up and all the way down. Make sure you are doing the full motion to maximize working the muscle. Make sure you are controlling the band; don't let the band control you!

 

Rotator Cuff Exercises with Weights

If you are having shoulder pain, most likely the rotator cuff is involved. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. They are very important in shoulder movement and stability. You can have a strain, sprain, partial tear, or full thickness tear of the muscles.

This video will show you some simple strengthening rotator cuff exercises lying down to get it strong again. You can use just a small amount of weights for these exercises. Start off lying down on your stomach where your arm can hang straight down. Put a small 1-2 pound weight in your hand. Keeping your arm straight, move your arm straight up to parallel to the ground or body. This is shoulder flexion. Then pull your arm back towards your side; this is shoulder extension. Now lift it out to the side keeping it level with your body. This is shoulder abduction. 

Now you will roll onto your back. Keeping your arm straight again, and trying not to bend your elbow, punch your arm towards the ceiling. These are called serratus punches or scapular protraction. These muscles keep your shoulder blade, or scapula close to your ribcage and tracking properly. You can start out with 10-15 repetitions, and then work your way up.

 

Top 3 Shoulder Exercises

If you are in a hurry, and you only have a few minutes to exercise your shoulder, here are my top 3 shoulder exercises. You can use weights or resistive bands. For a light weight, you can use a can of soup or vegetables.

Lie down on your side with the injured side up. Keep your elbow bent to 90-degrees by your side. Start with your hand at your stomach, and slowly bring it parallel to the ground. This is shoulder external rotation. Start off with 10-15 and work your way up. Then switch sides with the injured side on the ground for the second exercise. Still keeping your elbow bent, and by your side, start with your hand on the ground, and slowly pull in up towards your stomach. This exercise is shoulder internal rotation. The third exercise is going to be rows. Get up on all fours, or quadruped and straighten out your arm. Pull your arm up with your elbow bent to 90-degrees and close to your side. Squeeze that shoulder blade, or scapula up and in towards the middle of your body.

 

Neck Pain

If you are having some neck pain, stiffness, or tightness, check out this video for neck stretches. The neck muscles that are affected the most are your trapezius and levator scapulae muscles. People often describe neck pain as a crick in their neck.

First start off with some gentle neck stretches by bringing your chin to your chest and then looking up towards the ceiling. This is neck flexion and extension. Next you are going to take your ear to your shoulder on each side. Make sure you are not shrugging your shoulders up. This is side bending. Then you are going to turn your head from side to side like you are looking over your shoulder. This is neck rotation. If that is not painful, then you can add some overpressure with your hands. 

Now place your hand under your thigh to keep your shoulder down, then side bend your head to the opposite side and gently put pressure with your other hand to get a stretch through your trapezius muscles. Hold these for 30 seconds and perform 3 times on each side.

The final stretch is going to be for your levator scapulae muscle. This is the muscle that is used when you shrug your shoulders, and they can get overworked when you are stressed out. Take your arm on the side of the pain and place it above and behind your shoulder. Then take your opposite arm and place on top and slightly behind your head. Look down towards the opposite knee of the pain and apply gentle pressure for a good stretch. 

 

Pages

 


DISCLAIMER: The videos, posts and comments contained on this website are not medical advice or a treatment plan and are intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. They should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this website to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained on this website. You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Ask Doctor Jo, LLC, its officers, employees, and contractors for any and all losses, injuries, or damages resulting from any and all claims that arise from your use or misuse of this website’s content. Ask Doctor Jo, LLC makes no representations about the accuracy or suitability of this content. Use of this website is at your sole risk. 

AFFILIATE LINK DISCLAIMER: This site contains affiliate links and ads to purchase various products. When you click on links and ads to various merchants on this site and make a purchase, this can result in this site earning a commission. Affiliate programs and affiliations include, but are not limited to, the Amazon Associate Program.