Physiotherapy Exercises for Shoulder and Arm Pain

Shoulder and arms pain is common, and you might have experienced it. This may also cause loss of flexibility of shoulders to reach, lift, carry, or hold the position. After looking at all the functions of the shoulders, it is unsurprising to experience some degree of shoulder discomfort in our life. But, we cannot ignore this pain since it could become chronic and inhibit our daily activities such as getting dressed, carrying groceries, and even combing our hair.

You may often take the shoulder as a single joint. But it is more than this. It is a combination of different joints involving tendons and muscles to provide stability and rotation with which we all are familiar. The shoulder complex involves many components, such as:

  • Ribs
  • Scapula
  • Neck
  • Clavicle
  • Humerus
  • The thoracic region of the spine

Causes of Shoulder Pain

Different sources of shoulder pain require immediate emergency services and attention, followed by a professional Physiotherapist, such as separation of fractureor dislocation of joints.

Some common reasons for you to have shoulder pain are:

  • Arthritis
  • Impingement
  • Instability and overuse
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis (inflammation and sourness of rotator cuff)
  • Biceps tendonitis (when the tendon of the biceps become pinched)
  • Frozen Shoulder (Painful shoulders due to lack of use, rheumatic disease, or lack of fluid to help the shoulder move)
  • Bursitis (when the nurse become pinched)

Physiotherapy Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Suppose you have shoulder pain resulting from an injury or trauma, or the pain is becoming worse over time. In that case, you may deem it a medical emergency since it could require surgical intervention if other treatments are becoming unsuccessful.

If you believe that there is no need to visit a physician, you may seek help from an expert rehabilitation provider or a physiotherapist. It does not require any referral to see a physiotherapist. Your physiotherapist may monitor the pain and prescribe you stretches and exercises to help relieve the pain and control inflammation.

You can try these practical exercises at home:

Arm Across the Chest

To do this simple exercise, follow these mentioned steps:

  1. Stretch and hold your right hand out before your body, keeping it nearly to your waist.
  2. Reach your left hand behind the elbow while pulling your right arm Across the chest and to the left.
  3. Lower your arm until the pain lessens.
  4. Hold the position of your body for 30 to 50 seconds.
  5. Repeat this 4 to 5 times.


To do pendulum exercise,

  1. Start by supporting or leaning over your uninjured arm with a chair or table.
  2. Allow your sore arm to dangle straight down, and then draw the circles in the air.
  3. Start drawing small circles, and then gradually grow.
  4. It would be best if you also changed the direction of the circles periodically.
  5. Repeat this exercise at least 6 to 10 times a day.

Chest Expansion

You need to have a rope, exercise band, or tie for this exercise.

  1. Take one of these things mentioned above.
  2. Hold this item behind your back while grasping it with both your hands.
  3. Move your shoulder blades behind one another, and gently lift your chin towards the ceiling.
  4. Hold this position of your body for 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Do this exercise 4 to 5 times a day.

Neck Release

Follow these steps:

  1. Slowly tilt your chin toward the chest while sitting up straight until the stretch is felt in the back of your neck.
  2. Lean your head towards the left to help stretch your right shoulder.
  3. The stretch must be held for at least a minute on each side.
  4. Breath deeply to help maximize the stretch.

Seated Twist

This exercise will help stretch your neck and shoulder. Follow these steps:

  1. With ankles directly under your knees, sit on a chair.
  2. But keep your hips facing forward during this exercise. Keep twisting your upper body to the right, and bring back your left hand to your thighs.
  3. Wherever your right-hand feels comfortable, place it down over there.
  4. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat on your left side.
  6. Do 3 to 5 times on each side.


Exercises are necessary to keep a healthy body. These can be done at the house, but after getting advised by your expert rehabilitation provider or a physiotherapist. To consult the best physiotherapist, visit MARHAM.PK.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1- Which medications or remedies to use at home to relieve pain?

You can use pain reliever medications such as ibuprofen acetaminophen to ease your pain. However, natural remedies also alleviate pain, i.e., using turmeric, clove, or willow bark.

2- How to avoid shoulder pain?

Take care of your body, get sufficient rest, and practice good postures to avoid shoulder pain.

3- When to see a doctor if you have shoulder pain?

If the shoulder pain lasts for more than 2 to 3 weeks and becomes worse, you should approach your doctor or a Physiotherapist. Generally, doctors will recommend you some laboratory tests such sd X-Ray or CT scans.

4- What to avoid when having shoulder pain?

Try avoiding heavy lifting objects when you have shoulder pain. You may also need to avoid repetitive overhead movements.