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Published on July 11, 2017

Exercise Solutions for Shoulder Pain

Exercise Solutions for Shoulder PainDoes the thought of exercising with shoulder pain make you cringe? Don’t ignore your aching shoulder. With the right exercises and movements, you can relieve shoulder pain and increase your range of motion. Kevin Supple, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon in the Triad and member of the Cone Health Medical and Dental Staff, discusses exercises that can help.

Exercise Solutions for Shoulder Pain

Q:  When a person works at a desk and sits for 8 hours answering phones, what exercises can they do?

A: First, make sure that your work station is set up comfortably, so that you can maintain a proper, upright posture while using the key board, and make sure your computer screen is at the appropriate level so that you are not looking up or down and straining your neck and back. Make sure the mouse is positioned so that shoulder and elbow are comfortably at your side, and you are not “over reaching” to operate the mouse. 

For someone with specific shoulder related issues, each of the shoulder specific exercises could potentially be done while sitting in a chair if the elastic band was placed at the appropriate height. 

From a general exercise perspective, consider a standing desk which can take the strain off the lower back and recruits many more muscles to help with your balance. Some people have tried using a “balance ball” as a seat which requires the use of core muscles to keep stability. 

Gentle stretching of the shoulders, elbows, and wrists while seated can help relieve stress. Getting up and moving about the office, walking on the heels and toes, or simply standing at your desk and performing toe rises, 3 sets of 10,can help stimulate circulation and relieve stiffness. A foam ball can be squeezed to strengthen hands and fingers and improve mobility. 

If your chair has sturdy arm rests, consider supporting yourself with your arms for a count of 5 or 10.