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Exercises for Shoulder Flexibility: Back ScratchMan with towel over shoulder. One hand holding onto end of towel in front. One arm bent to hold end of towel in back.

Improving your flexibility can reduce pain. Stretching exercises also can help increase your range of pain-free motion. Breathe normally when you exercise. Try to use smooth, fluid movements. Never force a stretch.

Note: Follow any special instructions you are given. If you feel pain, stop the exercise. If the pain continues after stopping, call your healthcare provider.

  • Stand straight, placing the back of the hand on the side you want to stretch flat against your lower back.

  • Throw one end of a towel over your shoulder. Grab it behind your back with your other hand.

  • Pull down gently on the towel with your front arm. Let your back arm slide up as high as is comfortable. You’ll feel a stretch in your shoulder. Hold the stretch for a few seconds.

  • Repeat 3–5 times. Build up to holding each stretch for 30-60 seconds.

For your safety, check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program.

Online Medical Reviewer: Bechtold, C Dustin, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Mitchell, Bryan Sean, MD
Last Review Date: 10/31/2011
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.