Shoulder rehabilitation exercises are extremely important for the post-recovery following a shoulder injury or surgery. Although it may look simple and easy to do, it should only be performed under the supervision of a physical therapist or a doctor to ensure that you are working the right muscles. This is especially so for surgery patients as you do not want to further aggravate the wound. In this article, we will look at some useful rehabilitation exercises for shoulder injuries.
Shoulder rehab exercises are classified into 3 main categories: early stage, mid stage and final stage. In the early stage, the main purpose is to allow the injured tissues, tendons and muscles to heal, prevent scarring and regain your full range of motion. In the mid stage, the regaining of strength is the main purpose to help better support the injured shoulder. Lastly in the final stage, the full strength you had before the injury should be achieved.
Rotator cuff stretching
The rotator is a group of muscles and tendons that act together to stabilise the shoulder joint. Due to the amount of work and repeated stresses they go through, they are the most common cause of shoulder pain and injury. There are many good exercises that aims to strengthen only the rotator cuff but these require extreme care when performing it.
Side external rotation
The side external rotation is a simple exercise that you can perform in the comfort of your own home. Lie on your side with a pillow supporting your head. Place one arm on your stomach with a dumbbell and the other under the pillow. Slowly lift up the dumbbell to chest level and return. Repeat this exercise for 15 times for a total of 3 sets.
In this exercise, lie on your stomach on an elevated platform such as a bed or a table. Leave one arm hanging over the side holding the dumbbell. Slowly lift up the arm until it is parallel with the table and return. Repeat this exercise for 15 times for a total of 3 sets.
Row with external rotation
Begin in the same position as the side external rotation. Instead of lifting your arm parallel to the table, lift it forward this time. You should perform a rowing motion until the elbow is parallel with your shoulder. Slowly rotate your forearm back to the initial position. Repeat this exercise for 15 times for a total of 3 sets.