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16 April 2009

Self Shoulder Pain Exercises

The following exercises are designed to restore flexibility to the joints and muscles of the shoulder. If you are injured, you should discuss the suitability of these exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should be performed 3 times daily provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Shoulder Basic Exercises:

1) Shoulder Blade Squeezes (figure no. 1) – Begin sitting or standing tall with your back straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as hard and far as possible pain-free. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.

Shoulder blade squeezes

Figure no. 1 – Shoulder Blade Squeezes

2) Pendular Exercises (figure no. 2) – Begin leaning forwards with your forearm supported on a table or bench. Keeping your back straight and your shoulder relaxed, gently swing your arm forwards and backwards as far as possible pain-free. Repeat the exercise swinging your arm side to side as far as possible pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Pendular ROM

Figure no. 2 – Pendular Exercises (right side)

3) Pendular Circles (figure no. 3) – Begin leaning forwards with your forearm supported on a table or bench. Keeping your back straight and your shoulder relaxed, gently swing your arm in circles clockwise as far as possible pain-free. Repeat the exercise swinging your arm counter clockwise. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

Shoulder Pendular Circles

Figure no. 3 – Pendular Circles (right side)

4) Wall Crawl (figure no. 4) – Begin standing tall facing a wall. Place your hand on the wall and use your fingers to slowly finger-walk up the wall as far as possible pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder flexion ROM (wall crawl)

Figure no. 4 – Wall Crawl (left side)

5) Shoulder Flexion (figure no. 5) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Gently raise your arm forwards and up until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder flexion in standing ROM

Figure no. 5 – Shoulder Flexion (left side)

6) Shoulder Abduction (figure no. 6) – Begin standing tall, with your neck and back straight. Gently raise your arm to the side, leading with your thumb until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Abduction ROM

Figure no. 6 – Shoulder Abduction (right side)

7) Shoulder External Rotation (figure no. 7) – Begin standing tall, with your neck and back straight, your shoulders should be back slightly. Keeping your elbow tucked into your side and bent to 90 degrees, gently take your hand away from your body until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder ER AROM

Figure no. 7 – Shoulder External Rotation (right side)

8) Hand Behind Back (figure no. 8) – Begin standing tall, with your neck and back straight. Gently take your hand behind your back and up your spine until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder HBB AROM

Figure no. 8 – Hand Behind Back (left side)

9) Arm Across Chest (figure no. 9) – Begin standing tall, with your neck and back straight. Gently take your arm across your chest allowing your elbow to bend slightly, until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder HFlexion AROM

Figure no. 9 – Arm Across Chest (right side)

10) Shoulder Extension (figure no. 10) – Begin standing tall, with your neck and back straight. Gently take your arm backwards until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Ext AROM

Figure no. 10 – Shoulder Extension (right side)

Shoulder – Advanced Exercises:

11) Flexion with Stick (figure no. 11) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Use a broom handle to push your arm forwards and up until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder flexion with stick

Figure no. 11 – Flexion with Stick (right side)

12) Abduction with Stick (figure no. 12) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Use a broom handle to push your arm to the side and up until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder Abduction with stick

Figure no. 12 – Abduction with Stick (left side)

13) External Rotation with Stick (figure no. 13) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight, your shoulders should be back slightly. Keeping your elbow at your side and bent to 90 degrees, use a broom handle to push your hand to the side until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder ER with stick

Figure no. 13 – External Rotation with Stick (right side)

14) Hand Behind Back with Towel (figure no. 14) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight, your shoulders should be back slightly. Using a towel, take your hand behind your back and up your spine until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder HBB ROM Towel

Figure no. 14 – Hand Behind Back with Towel (left side)

15) Arm Across Chest Stretch (figure no. 15) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Gently take your arm across your body using your other arm to take it a little further. Hold at a mild to moderate stretch pain-free for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Shoulder HF stretch

Figure no. 15 – Arm Across Chest Stretch (right side)

16) Pec Stretch (figure no. 16) – Begin standing tall with your forearm against a wall and your elbow bent to 90 degrees as demonstrated (figure 16). Gently turn your body away from the wall until you feel a mild to moderate stretch across your chest pain-free. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Pec Mj stretch

Figure no. 16 – Pec Stretch (right side)

Shoulder– Less Common Exercises:

17) Biceps Stretch (figure no. 17) – Begin with your back and neck straight and your arm supported behind you on a bench or table. Gently lower your body, allowing your arm to move further behind you until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Biceps stretch in standing

Figure no. 17 – Biceps Stretch (left side)

18) Triceps Stretch (figure no. 18) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Place one hand behind your lower neck and your other hand on your elbow. Gently push your elbow backwards so your hand moves further down your spine until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Triceps Stretch

Figure no. 18 – Triceps Stretch (right side)

19) Shoulder Shrug (figure no. 19) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Place one arm by your side slightly away from your body with your thumb pointing upwards. Gently shrug your shoulder towards your ear as far as possible pain-free. Repeat 10 times.

Shoulder blade shrug

Figure no. 19 – Shoulder Shrug (right side)

20) Rotator Cuff Stretch (figure 20) – Begin standing tall with your back and neck straight. Place one hand on your hip with your palm facing backwards. Gently bring your elbow forwards until you feel a mild to moderate stretch pain-free. You can use your other hand to assist with this if required. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat 4 times.

Rotator Cuff Stretch

Figure no. 20 – Rotator Cuff Stretch (right side)

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