Michael Ellman, M.D.
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Shoulder Exercises You Can Do At Home

By Dr. Michael Ellman on April 21, 2015 in Exercise, Tips

If you’ve developed a stiff shoulder, read below for some simple stretching exercises you can perform on your own at home to help “loosen” the shoulder.

Important note: If you ever feel a sharp twinge or if you’re in extreme pain while doing these exercises, stop immediately. If the pain persists, and especially if it worsens, visit a physician as soon as you can. If you recently injured your shoulder and are seeing a physician already, make sure he or she gives you the OK to perform these exercises before attempting them.

 exercise for a stiff shoulder

Make sure you get approval from your doctor if your recently experienced a shoulder injury before performing these exercises.

  • Stand up and lean over a bit. Relax your shoulders and let the arm on the same side of the stiff shoulder hang down. Swing the arm in a small circle about a foot in diameter. Circle around 10 times in each direction. Dothis exercise once a day. Increase the diameter of your swing as your shoulder improves. Once you feel up to it, consider holding a small weight of three to five pounds in the dangling/swinging arm.
  • Sit or stand and, with your good arm, lift the arm of your stiff shoulder at the elbow. Bring the arm up and across your body, pushing the arm just a bit to stretch the shoulder. Hold this stretch for 15-20 seconds. Repeat 10 or 20 times each day.
  • Stand about three-quarters of an arm-length away from a wall (make sure you are facing the wall). Reach out and touch the wall at the level of your waist with the fingertips of the arm of your affected shoulder. Bend your elbow a bit and walk your fingers up the wall (like a spider) until your arm is at your shoulder’s level (or as far as you can go comfortably). Make sure your fingers are doing the work, not the muscles of your shoulder. Then lower the arm slowly (use your good arm to help you, if needed). Repeat 10 or 20 times a day.

If you have a stiff shoulder that isn’t improving, or if you’ve recently injured your shoulder and needs to see a physician, contact the top rehabilitation service in the Dallas region, Ellman Rehab Associates Contact us by calling 972-682-3909 or send us an e-mail message.

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