How to Relieve Shoulder Pain When Reaching - Buffalo Rehab Group
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Do you struggle to reach overhead or behind you without shoulder pain?

If so, you’re not alone.

Shoulder discomfort like this often stems from weak muscles in the upper back between the shoulder blades.

Keep reading to learn a simple exercise you can do at home to build strength, improve posture, and relieve shoulder pain when reaching.

Increase Shoulder Mobility

The key to overcoming shoulder pain when reaching lies in building stability and strength in the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades.

When we experience pain with reaching, we tend to have rounded shoulders. This rounding stretches the muscles between the blades, causing weakness.

A standard row exercise is a fundamental movement that engages the muscles between the shoulder blades, promoting stability and proper alignment. Here’s how to perform it:

  • Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hold your arms out in front of you with your palms down.
  • Hinge forward at the hips, keeping your back straight and your core engaged.
  • Pull your arms in towards your body, flipping your palms up and making a fist. Lead with your elbows and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Slowly return your arms to their starting position.
  • Aim to complete two to three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

If you’d like more of a challenge, you can complete a row using an exercise band.

Secure the band to a stable anchor point, such as a door handle or a sturdy piece of furniture. Pull the band toward your body, leading with your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together, same as you did with just your arms.

Incorporating the row into your routine can help alleviate shoulder pain, improve mobility, and prevent future discomfort. Remember to listen to your body and progress at your own pace.

Want to learn more ways to relieve shoulder pain?

Our 2024 YMCA Wellness Series class, “Exercising with Shoulder Pain,” aired on Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00PM. This Physical and Occupational Therapist-led class helps you build upper back and shoulder strength and improve your shoulder health.

Click below to watch the replay:

Watch Replay