Simple shoulder stretches will relieve tension and can fix lingering or chronic shoulder pain. The benefit you gain from doing these stretches regularly can be immense. The exercises are gentle enough to use even if you are currently in severe pain.
Release shoulder and neck tension: Stand tall and slide your left hand down the left side of your body. Raise your right shoulder as your left lowers. Hold this for 10 seconds then stand straight again. Now slide your right hand down the right side of your body. Raise your left shoulder as your right lowers. Hold this for 10 seconds then stand tall.
Loosen upper arm and chest muscles: Interlock the fingers with palms out. Extend arms above head, keeping fingers locked. Stretch upwards and hold for 10 seconds.
Loosen back muscles: Cross arms in front of chest and place hands around shoulders, giving yourself a big hug. Slowly stretch hands towards middle of back as far as possible. Hold for 10 seconds.
Loosen chest, top of shoulder and lower arm muscles: Bend one arm over head and down back, bend other arm around and up back. Grasp finger tips and hold for 10 seconds, then reverse arm positions and hold for 10 seconds. Keep backbone vertical during this exercise.
Stretch chest and shoulder muscles (often called the swimmers stretch): In a seated position, clasp your hands together behind your back with your thumbs down, extend your arms behind you and slowly and gently pull your arms upward.
Stretch triceps: Raise your right hand over your head and bend elbow to place right hand behind your left shoulder. Press gently on your right elbow with you left hand. Hold for 20 seconds, then relax your arms. Raise your left hand over your head and bend elbow to place left hand behind your right shoulder. Press gently on your left elbow with you right hand. Hold for 20 seconds then relax.