I've been living with a shoulder injury for about 8 years now and having tried every treatment I can think of (physio, chinese massage, accupuncture, injections, anti-inflammatory pills/creams, chinese "teet da" medicine/massage) nothing seems to really help very much.
However, I've noticed that two stretches that I do before playing has made a noticeable improvement but I'm keen to know what other stretches/warm up exercises others have discovered that helps with shoulder problems.
The two I do are common among badminton players, which are:
1. Straight racquet arm across chest, pull racqeut arm elbow towards chest with non-racquet arm to stretch the muscle that runs from the shoulder over to the shoulder blade (not sure what it's called!)
2. Bent and raised racquet arm with racquet arm hand touching racquet arm shoulder. Pull elbow of racquet arm back with non racquet arm behind head. This stretches the muscles beneath the shoulder and on the side (again, not sure what it's called).
These are the two main stretches I do, but I've noticed that it doesn't really target the area where my injury is - rotator cuff? My injury is on the front of my shoulder, about 1-inch above the armpit.
So I'm wondering if there are any other good stretches that could target this area more specifically?
Just as a follow up to this and in case it may help others.
I was recently suggested a stretch exercise that "may" help with my shoulder problem. I've only done this a few times each day, on the 2-3 days before playing and have noticed a difference.
I'm not suggesting this would help others, and it may not be the sole reason for me feeling an improvement, but here it is anyway...
1. Sit with back straight on a chair or stand with back to wall. Arms to your side.
2. Put injured racquet arm behind back with palm facing out.
3. Now try reaching up to the opposite shoulder. (I can almost touch my opposite shoulder with my non-injured arm hand, but bearly reach above waist level with injured arm).
4. Do not force yourself the reach the shoulder, but as high as you can tolerate without pain.
5. Lean back gently onto the chair/wall to apply pressure to the arm and hold for about 20-30 seconds.
6. Relax arm and repeat.
After doing this several times a day, over the past week, I'm now able to reach my shoulder blade with my injured arm. There was a little discomfort to start with but is gradually less as I feel I'm stretching and loosening the shoulder area.
I've also noticed that the pain in my shoulder has reduced during and after play. I'll continue with this stretch and see if it actually helps.
I won't suggest you to try stretches without any knowledge of your condition, it might end up making the situation worse. I'm a victim of unassisted exercises when I had a shoulder dislocation. It got worse and I had to treat under Dynamic PT (www.dynamicphysiotherapy.ca) around 8 months to get back to a pain relieved life. If you think the physio you've visited is not good, try a better one. Try to get to know the exact problem with your shoulder. There will be better gym instructors who also are experienced in PT or I've learned that martial arts teachers too can help you with better exercises.