You may have already located my article on stretches for shoulder pain. That is one of the most comprehensive articles on the internet for dealing with shoulder pain and uses a variety of techniques from stretching, to yoga to tips from physical therapists. Definitely worth a read.
For this article, I want to go over the 3 main movements from yoga that are ideal for targeting shoulder pain. I love practicing yoga, and love how I can use it to target certain problem areas — and see them go away.
It’s the perfect way to re-balance your body.
What is so powerful about yoga is that you are almost always using compound moves. This means that you are not just targeting your shoulders, you are also stretching and strengthening the muscles surrounding your shoulders.
Repair. Rebuild. Rebalance. This is the essence of yoga.
Yoga For Your Shoulders
Long before we had doctors and physical therapists, there was yoga. It is know wonder that yoga has developed such a legend — practitioners are doing exercises daily that are known only to doctors, coaches and physical therapists.
Because the medical industry has actually “borrowed” these moves from the world of yoga.
Yoga moves for your shoulders are so simple to do. A lot of moving your arms above your head and into motions that you might not typically use throughout a normal day. This helps to rebalance the muscles and help them heal and relax.
Here is an excellent, 10-minute video that will walk you through all of my favorite yoga moves for the shoulder:
Loosen Your Neck
The trapezius muscles not only make up a large portion of your shoulder, they also run up alongside your neck.
Most of us live a very forward-facing lifestyle. Our head leans forward, staring at our computer screens. This rolls the shoulders forward and tenses our neck muscles.
The tense muscles in our neck then start to irritate the rest of the shoulder muscles in the back. (So you see how it is all connected)
I highly recommend following these stretches, and performing them 3-4 times throughout the day. It only takes a few minutes, so it is a easy way to fit in a lot of yoga — even at your desk! I found that when I first started practicing them regularly, my neck was a little sore, but, with practice, I have had much fewer tension headaches throughout the day.
Correct Your Thoracic Spine
Mis-alignment of your spine can spell major pain issues for your shoulders. You see, the thoracic spine — that middle section — was designed to twist. When it gets mis-aligned, it becomes less inclined to twist like it should.
This means that your shoulders and hips have to make up for it. Not. Good. They were never meant to have to do the twisting for your back.
Yoga for your thoracic spine is so easy it may almost seem like you aren’t doing anything. Never fear, it actually does work. The key is consistency.
Once again, this move is not directly a yoga move for your shoulder pain, but a supporting move that helps resolve one of the biggest causes for shoulder pain.