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Home Based Physiotherapy for Shoulder and Back Pain

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A backache or shoulder pain can be the bane of existence. If it persists for more than just a few days, dealing with the difficulties that come with it can get tougher than the actual pain. When you have one or the other pain, not only your range of motion is restricted but you also cannot perform routine tasks like being able to bend, drive, or sometimes even comb your hair.

You can only take so many painkillers and get professional physiotherapy done. There comes a point when home remedies or exercise routines are the only things that can help you out. Keep in mind though that home-based physiotherapy is only recommended when supervised or approved by a professional. You can’t start them on your own. If you end up making the wrong move, you could further damage the shoulder or back muscle. Hence only perform exercises that your physiotherapist has recommended.

Starting with a Routine

The reason persistent exercise is recommended for shoulder conditions is that it helps increase your range of motion and flexibility. You will be able to move with more ease, do routine chores without crying out in pain every time and also be able to have an active and happy work and personal life.

Whether the pain is due to injury, surgery or some kind of medical condition, you need to see a doctor first to be sure of the accurate cause. Once a diagnosis has been made, the doctor will give you some pain medication along with referral to a physiotherapist. It is highly recommended that you visit the physiotherapist so that they can help you regain strength. As soon as they think your muscles are working better, you can perform home-based physiotherapy for shoulder and back pain.

Here are some of the most common exercises referred to patients of a backache and shoulder pain.

1. Bridge

A rather gentle exercise, the bridge is an exercise that helps increase the mobility of your lower and upper back. All you need to do is lie on your back, keep your knees bent and place your feet hip-width apart. Keep your hands straight on the ground beside you and lift your lower back up as far as you comfortably can. Make sure you raise your back while taking a deep breath. Keep the position for a while and then lower yourself to the ground while exhaling. Repeat for at least 5-8 times and continue to increase the time as your back muscles strengthen.

2. Lower Back Stretch

Lower Back Stretch

Source: 6 Exercises to Strengthen Your Back | Class FitSugar

This is another gentle exercise that will help increase the range of motion for your back and shoulder muscles. Kneel on all fours and keep your hips right under your shoulders. You need to be sure that there is no pressure on the spine. Take a deep breath and push your hips back slowly so that you are almost sitting on your toes, but with hands outstretched. Keep the position for as long as you can. Come back to the kneeling position while exhaling slowly. Repeat the exercise for at least 5-8 times and increase the repetition as your muscles regain their strength.

If this exercise hurts your back, then only do so for as long as there is no pain. Be sure to talk to your therapist about how you can make the exercise easier so as not to strain your muscles.

3. Ball Rub

Tennis ball exercises help release tension from your shoulder blades and upper back muscles. It also helps eradicate pain. You will need a tennis ball to perform this exercise. Stand with a ball between your shoulders and wall and rub it by moving from one side to the other. Continue on for as long as you want. This will help with both shoulder and upper back pain. You can do it as many times during the day as you like. Just make sure you don’t rub too hard. Otherwise, you may strain the muscles.

4. Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

There are a variety of exercises for your shoulder muscles, but it would depend on what kind of injury or problem you have before you can perform any exercise routine. Some of the easiest and least strenuous exercises include:

Towel Stretch:


This requires you to take a towel and take in your hands behind your back. Keep one hand over one shoulder and the other behind your back. Take the towel and pull it so that the muscles of your injured/hurting shoulder are stretched somewhat. Pull for as long as you can with comfort and then release. Repeat the motion for at least 5-8 times. You can perform this exercise 2-3 times a day.

Lying Stretch:


This exercise requires you to lie down on a flat surface. Keep a pillow under your head and then raise the hand with the stiff shoulder. Keep it as straight as possible and then lower it backward, towards your head. Hold the elbow with the other hand for support and lower it as far back as is possible for you. Keep it in the stretched out position for as long as comfortable. Release and repeat for 5-8 sets.

Across Body Stretch:


This is another gentle exercise that you can perform wherever you are to cure your shoulder pain. All you have to do is stand with your shoulders straight. Bring up the arm with the painful shoulder and stretch it across your chest towards the other hand. Hold the elbow with your other hand and stretch as far as it doesn’t hurt. Keep pulling for 5-10 seconds and then release. Repeat for about 5-8 times. You can perform this exercise 2-3 times a day.

Try out all the exercises mentioned above and see which ones give the best result for you. Be sure to get back to your physiotherapist is the pain persists or gets worse.

Author Bio: James Crook is a passionate health and fitness blogger. Currently, he is a working as a blogger for Dr. Joe Wilson, Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon Raleigh. Follow @jamescrook911 for more updates.

Image source: http://www.orthop.washington.edu/patient-care-articles/shoulder/home-exercises-rough-shoulder.html

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