Shoulder pain is a problem for many people. It can restrict the movement in your arms and cause pain when performing certain everyday tasks such as lifting your arms above your head, reaching sideways, reaching forward, and more. There are a variety of shoulder rehab exercises you can do to help prevent and relieve the pain associated with shoulder injuries. These exercises will also help improve flexibility and stability in your shoulders.

Before beginning any shoulder rehab exercises, it’s important to meet with your physical therapist to identify what is causing you pain. Your injury will need to be diagnosed to ensure that you are doing the right exercises and not causing further injury to yourself.

Common Causes of Shoulder Injuries

Sudden injuries are typically the cause of shoulder pain and can lead to constant pain and limited movement. Some of these causes include:

  • Catching yourself with an outstretched arm during a fall
  • A direct hit to the shoulder
  • Twisting or bending the arm in an abnormal way

Though sudden injuries are the most common cause of pain, this isn’t always the case. There are many conditions that can lead to pain, including everyday use, overuse leading to strain and aging. Medical conditions that lead to constant shoulder pain include:

  • Arthritis
  • Facture
  • Instability or Dislocation
  • Tendinitis


Injury Prevention

It’s important to actively work on preventing shoulder injuries. Including certain actions and habits in your daily routine will allow you to avoid an injury and requiring further physical therapy. Some habits to include in your daily routine include:

  • Good Posture – This will maintain the mechanics of your shoulders and ensure that they are strong and in the correct position.
  • Keep the muscles strong – Do exercises to keep your muscles strong and flexible. This will prevent injury by ensuring you are correcting sitting, standing and doing every day movements.
  • Body mechanics – Don’t rely on your shoulders to do all the heavy work throughout the day. Use your leg muscles to lift heavy objects, your stomach muscles to help pick items up, etc. This will distribute the work your muscles are doing easily and will avoid strain on your shoulders.


Rehabilitation Exercises

Shoulder Squeeze Exercise:

  1. Start in the sitting position with your elbows by your side.
  2. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 10-15 seconds.
  3. This will strengthen the scapula and shoulder blades, preparing them early on for the rehabilitation process.

Chest Pass:

  1. Stand one meter away from a wall or partner.
  2. Forcefully throw a medicine ball with both hands from chest height
  3. Repeat 2 sets of 10

Standing Pendulum:

  1. Start by standing beside a table the hand of your uninjured shoulder resting on it.
  2. Bend at your hips and let the arm of your injured shoulder hang down toward the ground.
  3. Shift your weight side to side letting your arm swing freely.
  4. Shift your weight forward and backward letting your arm swing back and forth.
  5. Next, move your body so your arm swings in a circle. Be careful not to use your muscles to move your arm.
  6. Continue for 30 seconds. Increase the time each day until you can do 3-5 minutes.
  7. Repeat 5 times daily per day.

Having pain free mobility in your arm is important for your daily life. Getting your injury healed and doing consistent rehab will not only cure but also prevent painful movement and will allow you do your daily activities with ease.

Care First Rehab in Cary, NC provides on-location and clinic therapy services including physical, occupational, pediatric, speech, massage, sports injury and more. Contact Pragati Sonker at (919) 460-1921 to schedule your therapy appointment.


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Additional Reading:

Shoulder Exercises

Pendulum and Codman Exercises for Shoulder Rehabilitation

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