Shoulder ‘stiffness’ is a common complaint from patients, and can be attributed to a number of underlying conditions. The good news is, that most shoulder complaints will benefit from some mobility exercises to improve pain-free range of motion. Here are 5 shoulder mobility exercises I find helpful for my patients, and the only equipment you need is a broomstick (or rake, mop, PVC pipe etc).
1. Shoulder Flexion
Hold the stick in both hands with your knuckles facing forwards. Gradually raise both arms up whilst keep the elbows straight. You can use your good arm to assist in elevating the injured/painful shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
2. Shoulder Extension
Hold the stick behind your back, again with your knuckles facing forwards. Slowly elevate the stick away from your back and hold this position for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
3. Shoulder Abduction/Adduction
Hold the stick in both hands with your palms facing fowards. Keeping your elbows straight, use your good arm to elevate your injured shoulder up past 90 degrees if possible. Hold this position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
4. Shoulder Internal Rotation
Hold the stick with both hands behind your back, with your uninjured shoulder behind your head, and your injured shoulder behind your back at waist-level. Move the stick up and down by bending at the elbows, with your uninjured arm (at the top) assisting the injured shoulder through gradual movements. Hold the elevated position for 5 seconds, repeating 10 times.
5. Shoulder External Rotation
This exercise is easiest performed lying on your back. Hold the stick in both hands with your palms facing upwards, and your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Ensure the back of your upper arms are resting against the floor. Use your good arm to swing your injured arm away from your body, whilst keeping the elbow of the injured arm by your side. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
These exercises are meant only as a guide, and should not replace proper consultation with your health practitioner. For some people, these exercises may not be appropriate, and could cause further irritation if performed incorrectly. If you are unsure as to the appropriate course of treatment for your shoulder pain, feel free to contact the clinic to book a chiropractic consultation with me.