5 Moves to Rehabilitate Injured Shoulders

Unlock shoulder recovery with these 5 essential mobility moves. These exercises target injured shoulders, promoting rehabilitation through improved range of motion and strength.

By URLife Team
20 Jan 2024

Shoulder injuries can be debilitating and can hinder our daily activities by restricting our range of motion. Understanding the common causes behind these injuries is necessary for an effective rehabilitation and treatment plan. Whether it's a result of overuse, poor posture, or sudden trauma, shoulders are vulnerable to a variety of issues. Repetitive motions in sports or weightlifting, improper lifting techniques, and even sedentary lifestyles contribute to the wear and tear on this complex joint.
According to a 2015 study in Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 18 per cent to 26 per cent of adults are affected by shoulder pain. Shoulder pain and injuries are both common and could be a cause of great discomfort.

The shoulder joint consists of three main parts: the upper-arm bone (humerus), collarbone (clavicle), and shoulder blade (scapula). These bones, connected by muscles, tendons, and ligaments, enable us to perform daily tasks easily. Due to its frequent use, the shoulder is more prone to injury. It's crucial to know how to prevent the shoulders and treat pain or injuries effectively.

To address shoulder injuries, incorporating targeted mobility moves for shoulders into your routine can be a game-changer. Simple exercises that focus on improving flexibility, stability, and strength can expedite the recovery process. Range of motion exercises, such as shoulder circles and pendulum swings work wonders in reducing stiffness. Strengthening the surrounding muscles through controlled movements, helps stabilise the shoulder joint. Additionally, mindful stretches, such as the doorway stretch and cross-body arm stretch, can alleviate tension and enhance flexibility. 


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Shoulder Pendular Exercise 

1. Stand or sit comfortably with a slight bend in your knees.
2. Place your unaffected hand on a table or any stable surface for support.
3. Let your injured or targeted arm hang down freely
4. Initiate a gentle swinging motion in a circular or back-and-forth manner using your body's momentum.
5. Keep the movements controlled and within a pain-free range.
6. Start with small movements and gradually increase the range of motion as your shoulder improves.

The benefits of shoulder pendular exercise include enhanced joint flexibility, increased blood circulation, and improved synovial fluid production. These movements help to prevent stiffness, reduce muscle tightness, and promote a faster recovery after shoulder injuries or surgeries. Additionally, shoulder pendulum exercises can contribute to better overall shoulder function and range of motion, making daily activities more manageable. Regular practice of these exercises is particularly beneficial for individuals recovering from shoulder injuries or surgeries, promoting a smoother rehabilitation process.


Related story: 5 Hip Stretches For Every Desk Worker 


Shoulder Roll Exercise

1. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, and ensure good posture with a straight spine.
2. Let your arms hang loosely by your sides, and relax your shoulders.
3. Start rolling your shoulders backward in a circular motion. Lift them up toward your ears, then roll them back and down in a smooth, controlled motion.
4. After a few backward rolls, switch to rolling your shoulders forward. Lift them up, roll them forward, and then down.
5. Perform the exercise slowly and with control. Focus on the range of motion and avoid any sudden or jerky movements.

Engaging in shoulder roll exercises enhances shoulder mobility and flexibility. Shoulder roll exercises not only reduce stiffness but also promote a broader range of motion. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with sedentary lifestyles or those who spend extended periods at a desk. Also, shoulder rolls help alleviate tension and discomfort in the neck and upper back region. It promotes relaxation by releasing built-up tension in the shoulder muscles. 


Related story: 3 Stretches For People Who Have Desk Job


Shoulder Wall Slide

1. Begin by standing with your back against a wall, ensuring your feet are shoulder-width apart.
2. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilise your core.
3. Raise your arms to shoulder level, with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and your palms facing forward.
4. Slowly slide your arms upward along the wall, straightening your elbows as much as comfortably possible.
5. Keep your back, arms, and hands in contact with the wall throughout the movement.

By enhancing shoulder stability, shoulder wall slides helps in injury prevention and corrects posture by engaging the muscles responsible for shoulder blade positioning. It also promotes strength in the shoulder region by targeting the muscles around the shoulder blades and upper back.


Related story: The World's Greatest Stretch: Why Everyone Should Do It, Everyday


Overhead Raise

1. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, maintaining a straight and upright posture.
2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing inward. Start with a weight that is manageable for you.
3. Allow your arms to hang naturally by your sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
4. Tighten your core muscles to stabilise your spine.
5. Lift both arms simultaneously in a controlled manner until they are fully extended overhead. Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement.
6. Be mindful of your lower back and avoid arching it as you lift the weights overhead.
7. Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position in a controlled manner, resisting the urge to let them drop.
8. Perform the desired number of repetitions, maintaining proper form.

Overhead raises can be done with various equipment, such as dumbbells or resistance bands, making it adaptable to different fitness levels. It helps in activating the shoulder muscles by targeting the deltoid muscles. However, remember to choose an appropriate weight, focus on controlled movements and consult a fitness professional if you have any concerns or pre-existing condition.


Related Story: Five Post-Run Stretches Every Runner Should Know


Wall Angel Exercise

1. Stand with your back against a wall, ensuring your feet are about a foot away from the base.
2. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilise your core.
3. Ensure your entire back, especially the lower back, is in contact with the wall.
4. Start with your arms bent at the elbows, forming a 90-degree angle, with your palms facing forward and elbows at shoulder height.
5. Slowly slide your arms up the wall while maintaining contact with your back and the back of your hands.
6. Continue sliding your arms until they are fully extended overhead. Your goal is to maintain contact with the wall throughout the movement.
7. Slowly reverse the motion, bringing your arms back down to the starting position.
8. Aim for controlled, smooth movements. Repeat the exercise for a set number of repetitions.

By opening up your chest, this exercise reduces rounded shoulders by stretching the muscles on the front of the body. Also, practising this exercise regularly, helps in mobilising the shoulder girdle. Additionally, by activating and strengthening the rhomboids, it helps in reducing tension in the upper, lower and middle traps of the back.


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Ramesh Chand Jain 23 Jan 2024

For SBI Corporate

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