These exercises are used to slowly regain your mobility, but not hurt any healing structures inside your shoulder. They are perfect for the first 6 weeks after a shoulder injury or surgery. These are my standard exercises after rotator cuff repair for the first 6 weeks. The key is that you do NOT use the muscles of the affected shoulder. Trying to raise your arm on its own may cause a repair to fail so be careful ! The goal is to reach full range of motion over time. These short video clips demonstrate what to do. It’s so simple, even a 7 year old can do it (at least he was 7 when I filmed them!).
Ask me questions if you need help at Ask Dr. Hacker.
Try to do these 4-5 times a day. Do the pendulums for about 1 minute to warm up. Then lay down, and do the shoulder motion exercises. Go for about 10 reps of each exercise. Finally, finish with the scapula exercises.
Pendulum exercise. Do this for 2 minutes to warm up. Let the arm hang. Make slow circles in one direction, then the other.
Passive flexion: Use your opposite hand to raise up the surgical hand. Don’t use the muscles of the operative side ! Do you best as getting this far the first time will be tough. Do 10 reps.
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Passive External Rotation. Use something like a golf club. Hold on with your operative hand, but don’t help move your arm. Using your good arm, rotate the operative side out as far as possible. This will slowly improve. Do 10 reps.
Shoulder Shrugs: Shrug your shoulders and hold them up. Do 10 reps. This shouldn’t bother your shoulder to do them.
Scapular stabilizers: Pinch your shoulders back together behind you. Pull them together as tight as possible and hold for 5 seconds. Do 10 reps.
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