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Exercises to Reduce Shoulder Blade Pain

author image Tamara Moffett
Tamara Moffett is a freelance copywriter with a bachelor's degree in English and over seven years of experience. She specializes in writing persuasive sales copy, news stories and feature articles for magazines. Her work has appeared online and in the pages of publications like "Green Business Quarterly," "Black Ink Magazine" and the "Daily Journal of Commerce."
Exercises to Reduce Shoulder Blade Pain
Pain in the shoulder blade can often subside with exercise. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Your shoulders consist of bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons that all work together to make movement possible. These joints suffer significant daily wear and tear, so shoulder pain is extremely common, and can occur as a result of fractures, sprains, strains and other injuries. One common site of injury and pain is the triangular-shaped shoulder blade, the largest bone in your shoulder girdle. Simple shoulder exercises can help to speed up your recovery, but consult a doctor first to make sure the exercises are appropriate for your condition.

Effective Exercises

Exercises like wall pushups, shoulder pressups, shoulder flexions and walkups that are designed to strengthen the shoulder are often effective in reducing pain in the shoulder blade. To perform wall pushups, stand facing a wall with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Place your palms against the wall in front of you and push your upper body off of the wall. For shoulder pressups, sit in a chair that has armrests and place your feet flat on the floor. Grab hold of the armrests with both hands and lift your body off of the chair. To execute shoulder flexions, clasp your hands in front of your body while keeping your elbows straight. With your hands still clasped, slowly lift your arms above your head. Add walkups to your exercise routine. Stand facing a wall with your fingers curled in a crawling position. With elbows straight, use your fingers to crawl as far up the wall as possible.

Frequency Facts

Aim for five repetitions of wall pushups, five repetitions of shoulder pressups, 10 to 20 repetitions of shoulder flexions and three repetitions of walkups. MedlinePlus recommends performing shoulder exercises twice a day. However, your doctor can help you to decide which routine is the safest and most effective for relieving your particular shoulder blade pain.

Shoulder Safety

Avoid over-working an injured shoulder blade. If you find that certain exercises or movements increase your pain or discomfort, stop exercising immediately. As you perform shoulder exercises, focus on using proper movements and technique. Improper positioning may render the exercises ineffective at easing your pain. Before exercising, take five to 10 minutes to stretch out your shoulder muscles to loosen the muscles and reduce your risk of further injuring your shoulder blade.

Further Considerations

Sometimes shoulder blade pain can make moving your shoulder feel too strenuous. This may discourage you from exercising your shoulder. A supportive shoulder brace can help to support and compress your shoulder blade, making it easier for you to exercise. A shoulder brace can also help prevent you from inadvertently straining your shoulder while you exercise.

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