Shoulder Tendonitis Exercises for Pain Relief – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you some exercises for shoulder tendonitis. If you’re looking
for some stretches, make sure and click on the link up here. Since shoulder
tendonitis is a very general term, we’re going to do some general exercises so
let’s get started. So the first stretch or slash exercises a little combination of both are going to be
your pendulum exercises. Pendulums are my favorite because it really helps open up
that shoulder, it loosens up those muscles in those tendons, and it really
just kind of works it out, so if you have a lot of pain in the shoulder, I always
say start off with the pendulums because that’s going to help loosen everything
up, I’m going to show you first without a weight and then if you don’t have any
precautions or contraindications of your shoulder, then I’m going to show you how
to do it with a weight because the weight just helps open up that
joint just a little bit more, so use a chair or a countertop, something sturdy
that you can hold on to because you’re going to lean over a little bit. Make
sure that you’re getting in a good position, and if it’s really hurting,
try not to actively move your shoulder, you’re going to use your body to move
your shoulder, but again if you don’t have any precautions or
contraindications or like surgery type stuff, you can move your arm a little bit,
but it really makes it more relaxed if you can just move your body to make your
arm move, so hold on with the good side, and then the side that you want to work,
or the one that’s hurt, just let it hang straight down. Get your body in a nice
comfortable position, feet spread out and what you’re going to do is try and make
a circle with your arm, but use your body to do it, so the arm should really just
hang there, and you’re relaxed and then you’re moving your whole body to make
that arm move, so again just having it pretty relaxed so it doesn’t have to be
big circles, you’re really just trying to get that movement in there, it’s hanging
down opening up that joint and getting those muscles to relax, so you want to do
about ten one way and then reverse it and do ten the other way, so even though
I don’t have problems with this shoulder right now, probably will later, it feels really
good. Even with a good shoulder just hanging down loosening it up a little bit, so if you have an injury or some irritation going
on, this is a really good way to get some of that out of there.
The next one is just going to be a side to side movement, so you’re going to kind
of stay in the same position and this time just sway side to side to let that
arm swing back and forth, so again you see it doesn’t have to be big movements,
you don’t have to have your arm swinging like this, but just going back and forth
to really get it nice and loosened up, and then the last one is a front to back
movement, so put the foot forward on the opposite side so you have room to swing
a little bit, and again just let it hang down and then lean front to back to have
that arm just kind of swing back and forth, so that’s just a nice way to kind
of loosen it up and let everything hang and relax, especially if those muscles
are tight and kind of spasm out a little bit. So if you try those those,
feel really good, don’t have any problems with them, then you can take a little
weight to add on. This is just a soup vegetable can, it’s about one pound, you
don’t really need a whole lot more than that, but just enough to get some weight
on there to open up that joint a little bit more, so you’re just going to do all
the same movements with the weight. You can again actively move your shoulder a
little bit, but you really want the body to do most the work, so hanging it down
swinging around in those circles, 10 one way, reverse it 10 the other
way, then you can do the side-to-side motion really just letting it hang and
loosen up, and then putting that opposite foot forward and then just kind of
swinging back and forth. So the next exercise is just going to be some
shoulder shrugs, you can do shoulder shrugs sitting or standing, and all
you’re doing is bringing those shoulders straight up if you can, so you’re not
hunching your head down, but you’re bringing your shoulders up, so really
just kind of bring them up as much as you can, you’re really kind of loosening
up that shoulder area that’s what you’re trying to do, so just hold it for about
three to five seconds and then come back down. You really want to try and get it
straight up and down, not forward a little bit or not
backwards a little bit because we’ll do other exercises for that, so just up hold
that about three to five seconds, come back down and you can do about five or
ten of those. Then you’re going to go into the shoulder squeeze which is
actually going back again, you want to make sure you’re doing the technique
right because you’re not kind of squeezing up like this, that’s still a
little bit of a shrug, but this time you’re going back. You’re imagining that
someone has their hand placed right on your spine, and you’re trying to take
those shoulder blades and squeeze into the spine area, so really go kind of
downwards and back so your shoulders don’t come up like this, you’re really
going back this way, so as you can see I’ll turn around and I’m squeezing my
shoulder blades back and down, so it’s not up like this, it’s back and down, now
I’m using those elbows as a target almost like I’m trying to take those
elbows all the way back and touch them behind me, so again with this one you
want to hold it for about three to five seconds. You can start off with just five
of those, work your way up to ten, and then if you want to hold it just a
little bit longer you can. Now you do some strengthening exercises. With the
strengthening exercises resistive bands are my favorite way, you can use weights,
but I really like the ban’s better, I think you just get a better exercise
going in and out for it. So if you have the thera-band brand, the way it goes is
yellow the lightest, then red, green, blue, and so on from there, so I have a red but
you probably want to start off with a yellow. If it’s not thera-band brand,
they’re usually different colors so just make sure you know and check and start
off with the lightest one, but what we’re going to do now is an external
rotation exercise. So this time you can do both sides I think is pretty easy to
do it both ways, if you just want to do the side that’s bothering, you can anchor it
in a door and do it, but this is just a little bit easier to do. Keep your elbows
really close to your side, it’s kind of like the stretch that we did you don’t
want that elbow to leave the side, so if you need to roll up a towel and put one
on each side and squeeze in then you know your elbows are going to stay there. Keep
your thumbs in that upright position, they don’t have to be sticking up, but
you want them to be up on top, and you want your wrist to be in a fairly
neutral position, so when you’re pulling out, you don’t want to do this because
you don’t want to get your shoulder better and then have wrist problems
because you cranked out your wrist so much, so really trying to keep those
wrists in a neutral position, elbows by your side,
thumb in the upward position, and then just pull out gently. So you don’t have to
go super far, some people try and really crank it out, but then what’s going to
happen is your elbows are going to leave your side, so the important part is not
how far you go, but how well you control the band, so really keeping control of
that band, don’t let it pop back in, just use a nice
slow controlled motion, so not popping it back in like this because that might end
up irritating something even more, but just really controlling it going in and
out, so just starting off with ten of these you can work your way up from
there, or you can then do two sets of ten, three sets of ten, 2 sets of 15, and kind of
go up from there. If you end up getting to like 20-25, and it’s easy, then you’re
probably ready for the next heaviness of resistance for the bands. So now
you’re going to go into doing some flexion for your shoulder. Make sure that
you’re stepping tight on the band so it doesn’t come back up and pop you, so if
you want to step on it with both feet you can, if you feel good holding it with
one that’s fine as well. With these next two exercises you want
to keep your elbow fairly straight, if it bends a little bit that’s okay because
there might be some weakness in there, but you want to try and keep it as
straight as you can. Again keeping that thumb kind of in that upwards position
because that’s going to open up that shoulder and then not put some impinging
on it because that impinging on it that’s going to irritate those tendons even more, so
when you lift your arm up, you only want to go to about 90 degrees. You don’t want
to take it all the way up, I have a lot of people ask why only to 90 when you’re
rehabbing your shoulder, if you really go all the way up this way early on, you’re
going to risk your irritating it even more, so remember we’re not trying to
bulk up, we’re trying to rehab reset those muscles, so you
really only need to go to 90, you don’t need to go higher than that, so keeping
that thumb up just come into about right here, and then nice and slowly coming
back down, so really controlling that movement straight up, and nice and
controlled back down. So again just starting off with ten of
these and then kind of working that progression up, and then going up to the
next band strength if you need to. The next one is going to be shouldered
extension, so still in that same position same thumb position same arm position,
but this time when you’re going into extension, you’re not going to be able to
go all the way up to 90 without bending forward so you don’t have to go as far.
You want to keep your body upright, so you don’t want to bend over like this
because then you’re not really getting that shoulder movement. Keep your body
upright, and then just pull back. It’s probably going to be 30 to 40 degrees
going backwards, so it doesn’t have to be a big pullback there, but again really
controlling that band getting the control in the movement is what’s really
going to help get those muscles working how they’re supposed to again. Then the
next one is going to be going into abduction which is completely out to the
side, so this time turn that thumb outwards, and then keeping that arm
straight, again you’re going to go to about that 90 degrees, so just to about
here and then nice and slow coming back down. So when you’re doing
the motions with that long lever arm, so that the elbow’s straight versus bent, it
doesn’t take a whole lot to really work these muscles, so remember if you’ve got
that tendonitis going on, you don’t have to do a whole lot, just doing about 10 to
start off with and seeing how you feel it’s going to be the best way. Don’t
overdo it and then that night and the next day be so sore that you can’t do
anything. so the last one with the band is going to be a scaption movement. So
scaption is not straight in front of you, it’s not completely out to the side, but
it’s about right in the middle of this, so I call that 45 degree angle. So not
here, not here which is 90, but right in the middle which is that 45 degree
angle, so still having that thumb up still coming up to about 90 degrees, but
right in that middle motion of it which is what we call scaption, and then nice
and controlled back down. So those are your exercises for shoulder tendonitis.
Remember if you want to check out the stretches, you can click on the link over
here, and if you’d like to help support the channel click over here, and don’t
forget to subscribe by clicking down here. Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope
you feel better soon.

Joseph Wolf


  1. I feel my neck tilted to right side a bit and my left side neck hurts it's kind of tight n it's irritating my shoulder and collar bone . And my right hip is tight so d left side of my hip is gift problem I can hear pop in my left shoulder and scapula and left side of hip . My left also doesn't extend right and my left lat feel tight too. I I can't feel my left lat stretching and can't feel my left tricep. What to do to fix the issue ?

  2. I actually did not feel any pain while doing this exersices, they are good, I've just been dignosed with tendonitus of my shoulder doc said the two front muscles are bad, but this exersices feel good to my muscles, :)I'm going to keep on doing them!!

  3. I accidentally banged my shoulder..And it is starting to pain now..It pains when I sleep on the affected shoulder..The pain is bearable but disturbing.Can you suggest something?. It's been 4 days since the injury

  4. Are pushups good for tendinitis? If yes, how many reputations would you recommend doing?

  5. hey doctor… just wanted to ask …I injured my shoulders 2 years ago and because i didn't take care of it properly..it hasn't healed properly even now.. it isn't as severe as it is used to be but even now it comes back if I do push ups or hit the weights… it's a pretty old injury… any advice is welcome..

  6. Hi dear Doctor, I am suffering day and night from a tendinitis in my right shoulder and I do not know what I should do to stop the constant pain. According to my doctor, I must not use my right arm for a long time, but now my whole arm and wrist are painful as well. I really feel lost because even the medical treatment does not work. What can I do? Thank you in anticipation for reading my post.

  7. hi there, i wanted some information on how shoulder abduction is important for rotator cuff tendinopathy?

  8. Hi Dr. I have my shoulder tendonitis and it is paining really bad. Can you please suggest me how to heal it? I really want to get back to gym. Thank you!

  9. Hi Jo,

    Great content as per usual.

    I've performed the wall stretches you reference in this video and have given myself a dead arm/shoulder.

    Is the normal or should it be something I need to worry about?

    For reference, this is the first time I've done these stretches and never had this issue before.

  10. Hi dr jo! actually when doing this shoulder stretching exercise is it really important to keep the hand movement till only 90 degree,bcoz I was doing this exercise from last 40 days as per your call and I had a great pain relief in the shoulder. But, I had consulted a physiotherapist and he told me too stretch my hand all up till maximum and all of a sudden the pain again started coming back…Please advise m'am.
    Love and regards from India.

  11. hi dr…i injured my shoulder four years ago in the gym…i felt like something had clicked in the middle of my shoulder while lifting,and the exact spot still hurt till now…the MRI came normal and the dr said to me that my tendon is fine but it is a little bit tight and advised me to do the exact same exercise that you did in your video (the very first one)…i ignored his advice to be honest and only did the exercise couple of times and the pain is still there even after more than 4 years…did sticking to this exercises will make it go away?

  12. Hi, I have shoulder problems, not sure what type, maybe shoulder inpeanchement, is not terrible pain just some pain and discomfort. Can I hang from a pull-up bar, would this cause not worsen it? Would advise a not todo with shoulder pain. Thank you very much, love your videos.👍

  13. Would yo be so kind to tell me the brand of the band you are using ?? I bought theraband but I they are 4ft and I think yours are longer

  14. Hi I have severe tendonitis with partial tear. Can I do these exercises? Where can I buy this band from?

  15. I am only 14 years old and got supraspinatus tendon infection or something like that 2 months ago. I ride horses but its harder for me now. I cant do anything that the students in my class can in the gym anymore, i can’t even swim anymore. It ruins so much for me and honestly fml. FML so bad! Why me and why did i have to be so young!? And i always wake up at night with extreme pain and i am always on pain killers, when i forget to take painkillers i can’t stand still, i have to move around because the pain radiates from my shoulder down to my hand and it hurts and argh! Yes iv’e been to the doctor and i have to start exercising it. But i also have to do an MR and maybe get an injection of cortison 🙁

  16. Hello doctor, unfortunately I have tennis elbow.
    My job required me to lift somethings. My shoulder's strength is further worsen after I have tennis elbow. It is because I stop any shoulder's training.I don't want to quit my job.
    Front lateral raise and rear delt row are very good for my shoulder's strength and job. But I cannot do these training.
    If I use my hand to grip resistant band or dumbbell to front lateral raise and rear delt row. I feel there are some pressures in my elbow. I don't want to give up. I need the job.

  17. So, when I do the exercises with the band I have a lot of popping and cracking in shoulder and elbow. Is that ok?

  18. Hey doc, Urgrnt help please.

    I have been working in a gas station taking customer since 2 and half months and my shoulder pain started one day and till date its getting worsed… i do have a trigger point on the left side and the pain goes all way upto right.
    And even if I get two days from my work the pain goes and mild down to like 5%.
    Please help me I would really appreciate your reply.
    I am really struggling, this is my only job for now. 🙁

  19. calcific tendonitis of the shoulder is no fun. never thought it would ache so much, ouch

  20. Hi doctor how are you I hope you are doing well do you exercise for shoulder bursitis

  21. Hi doc ..I wrote to you before . I have very minor shoulder Impingement caused by side lateral raises. .again it’s v mild impingement .
    I finally saw PT and he recommended internal /external rotation and couple of stretches you recommend .
    Along with this he told me I should do standing rows and then turn around and do same standing cable press( don’t know what the term is ..buts I would be almost exact opposite workout of mid standing rows ) and he said to do incline press where by arm
    Is at 90 degrees when it goes up ..also push ups using surface that’s about 4 -5 feet in height.
    Does some of these work out make sense ? I read some where not to do any chest workout . .specially incline press was big no no . What’s your advise ?
    He said by doing incline dumbbell press , rows and opposite of rows ..I will work out RC muscles from different angle .

    Thank you !

  22. Dr Jo- do you think these exercise would work with calcific tendinitis of the shoulder?

  23. I can't do the first exercises, because both my shoulders have tendonitis and I have a herniated disc . My shoulders are in quite some pain, where can get a band or what is the reference to a band that is really really low resistance, like the lowest possible?

  24. Hi doctor Jo, I lost messages.
    For supraspinatus tendinitis patients, normally either perform your last second exercise (about 90 degrees) or your last exercise (about 45 degrees) for recovery

    Which one is normally safer for supraspinatus tendinitis patients?

    Thank you very much.

  25. Hi doctor Jo, thank you for your video. It is very helpful.
    Unfortunately, I got bicep tendonitis. It is very nice to perform Front Raise with resistance band or light weight's dumbbell. As you said in the video, going to 90 degrees is fine during Front Raise.
    If we keep our elbow in front of our body and perform shoulder dumbbell press (light weight), we feel it is safe and feel fine during this exercise.

    Do you recommend patient to perform should dumbbell press (light weight)?

  26. Hello Dr. Can you please suggest me the exercises for Supraspinatus Tendinosis.
    My right shoulder is in pain

  27. Hey Doc… I got pain near shoulder and biciep tendon while playing sport, I have done MRI scans… Seems everything fine… Small thin rim of liquid found near shoulder tendon.. doctor told me there might be a small tear… I am suffering it past 7months… Does these exercises advisable?? Thanks

  28. Great video, Dr. Jo! So a basic question: I've been starting to do your tendonitis exercises in this video – if certain of the exercises hurt – clear pain in a tendon area of the shoulder – should I continue to do that exercise? How much pain should I experience with a particular exercise? Is the pain an indication that the stretch is GOOD to do, or NOT good to do? Thanks!

  29. Hi Doctor Jo…I have problem with my right shoulder and bicep, I've been suffering for about a year now, is it normal that my hand shakes when I lift things?

  30. Hello, thanks for the video! I was just wondering how often should we be doing these exercises for shoulder rehab? Thanks

  31. Hi Dr, My doctor said I have shoulder tendonitis. And I've been told to do rehab. So Should I do exercises or stretches?

  32. Hi Doc,
    I got swimmer's shoulder, but not much. However, does it takes a long time to recover. I don't have pain in normal condition. But when I lift my left hand in a certain position it gives pain. If I do exercise on that again it pains. Should I continue exercises? Does it take a long time to heal?

  33. I had to go to a&e hospital yesterday. Woke up and could not move my arm, pain in my shoulder and bicep is extremeley sore. My shoulder is that sensitive a finger running across it hurts. Got xray and examination, got told it was tendinitis, to go back for steroid injection. But its my right arm/shoulder and i am right handed so i am off work and in a LOT of pain, even doing the pendulum is sore. But after it, it feels a lot better. Thank you for this video

  34. Hello Doctor Jo,
    I apologize in advance for writing such a long comment, but I'm in dire need of some advice.
    I've been having problems with my shoulders for quite a while. I'm a swimmer and about 2 and a half years ago I injured my right shoulder. It was a minor rotator cuff injury that healed in 4 months with the right treatment.
    Soon after that, my left shoulder started hurting and I immediately went to see my doctor again. She put me on a couple of different treatments (electrotherapy and kinesio taping), but I still couldn't get back to exercising. It turned out to be tendinitis (Dolor extremitatis M796, Morbi synoviae et tendinis alii M67). I was told that I should take a 6-month break from swimming and physical activities that might make my injury worse. I went to see a different physical therapist and she was shocked because I wasn't given any rehab exercises like the ones she later showed me and the ones you showed in the video. She told me I can go back to the pool in a month.
    After the break I had a check up. My shoulder was still in a bad condition. My doctor decided to put me on treatment again. I finished it a month ago.

    Now, I only feel pain when I put a lot of pressure on it (while swimming, doing push-ups or even during a certain motion). What do you suggest me to do?

    Looking forward to your answer😊

  35. Purchase resistive bands like the ones used in the video here: https://amzn.to/2N7k85f (affiliate link)
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  36. Dr, my phisiotherapist has advised me to do bicep, tricep and lifting a weight of 500gm with straight elbow exercises. There is no pain while doing these, but just after a slight pain or irritation which lasts up to 1-2 hrs.He also told that 500 gm is to be replaced by 1kg after 1 weak.Should I follow?

    Doing once a day is enogh?

  37. i have had 2 operations on my right shoulder. for rotator cuff repair. i tore it again and the Dr. told me it can't be repaird anymore. i'm a cyclist and when i ride my bike on the flats it starts hurting after about 45 minutes, when i ride hills it's less painful, my ROM is very good, just on and off teninitis,i do cross friction and it helps, can you reccomend anything else.

  38. Hi there, I play high level tournament tennis and got medial epicondylosis (Tendinosis). I’ve been doing eccentric exercises according to something I found from Dr Julian Saunders online and feeling better after a week. He remains unresponsive so I’m really hoping you could tell me your opinion. Can I continue a general strength program 2-3 times a week while I’m doing it? The offending movement is the tennis serve so can I play hitting ground strokes if they don’t hurt? I’m just confused because I don’t want to go cold turkey if I don’t need to. However, if you think I should stop while I do the eccentric exercises rehab then I’m happy to follow the doctors orders. Hope to hear from you!

  39. Hey Dr. Jo i asked you about my shoulder injury a few weeks ago that i have grade 1 slap tear and mild tendonitis i wanted to ask you that this injury is 2 years old so can it get treated now without surgery ? And if yes will i be able to recover to my 100% efficiency.. Please reply ma'am

  40. Thank you. This is very helpful. Yet, the pain when lifting bent arm/elbow continues and I observed that my entire shoulder / side of body is now engaged in arm movement as if compensating for pain / lack of mobility. Any tips in videos?

  41. Are these to be done 7 days a week? I know in another question it was said 2-3 times a day, but is it every day?

  42. Ma'am I have been diagnosed with rotator cuff tear of supraspinatus tendon at the articular surface with no bursal surface communication..it's been almost two month….resting..taking painkiller….can I perform those exercise???

  43. Ma'am my shoulder tendonitis has been lasting for almost 2 months now and I was wondering if these exercises would shorten the healing process and if you could give me the exact time that would be great (sorry for the long comment) thanks in advance for

  44. I would also love to know if there are any ways to naturally speed up the healing process of tendonitis thanks in advance

  45. That loosening exercise at the beginning is great. Thanks a lot!
    For the other exercises, do they need to be more difficult based on my strength level? I can still do dips, front lever, and pull ups without too much irritation. Also, with a tendonitis, should I focus on static or dynamic movements when training to keep irritation down to a minimum?

  46. After the pain is gone, is there a general timeframe that you should wait before resuming strenuous activity like weightlifting?

  47. I have shoulder pain coz of tendonitis and numbness at the tip of my fingers…would this help? Its been going on for 9 months now…

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