5 Exercises to Decrease Shoulder Pain and Improve Your Mental Health

Physical pain such as shoulder pain or soreness can cause stress and affect your mental health. Those with daily pain tend to report a lower quality of life compared to those that don’t have daily physical pain. This means that if you minimize the pain in your shoulders, you can decrease your stress and improve your mental health and overall well-being.

Your shoulders take a lot of punishment. Every time you lift, tug, push, pull, or perform any other upper bodywork, your shoulders generally bear the brunt of the labor. With so much work and activity, it's no small wonder why so many people experience discomfort or pain in their shoulders. The good news is that there are ways to reduce and eliminate pain in your shoulders without using painkillers or medications. Here are four exercises that can help reduce pain in your shoulders.

Pendulum Exercises

The pendulum exercise is a great way to strengthen your shoulders to reduce and eliminate shoulder pain. The great thing about this exercise is that you don't need any special equipment, and you can do it virtually anywhere.

Perform this exercise by leaning over a table or other stable surface. Alow one arm to hang straight down and draw circles in the air. Start with small circles and gradually make the circles larger. Repeat the exercise for each arm five to ten times throughout the day.

Across the Chest Stretch

To keep shoulder discomfort from becoming a chronic condition, you must keep your arms and shoulders healthy and strong. Stretching exercises are a great way to keep the muscles, joints, and ligaments in your shoulders and chest flexible and strong. To perform this exercise, you simply hold your right hand in front of your body close to your waist and place your left hand behind your elbow. Next, pull your right arm to the left and across your chest. Perform this exercise several times a day with each arm.

Neck Release

You do this exercise while sitting straight up and slowly tilting your chin toward your chest until you feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Tilt or lean your head to the right to stretch the left shoulder. Next, lean your head to the left to stretch the left shoulder. Repeat five to ten times throughout the day.

Seated Twist

The seated twist is an excellent exercise for stretching your shoulders and neck. Sit in a chair with your feet directly beneath your knees. Twist your upper body to the right bringing the back of your left hand to your thigh. Hold the position for roughly 30 seconds. Repeat on the right side.


Stress is a common cause of shoulder and neck pain. If you suspect that your stress is the cause of your shoulder pain, then you may want to try meditation to decrease your stress. Meditation has been recommended for stress management. If you are new to meditation, then you may want to use guided meditation either through videos online or through apps that you can download on your smartphone. 

Ignoring shoulder pain can lead to long-term chronic conditions and can inhibit your range of motion in your chest, arms, and shoulders. You should always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise regimen.

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