Suggested Rehabilitation for Common Types of Shoulder Injury

Posted March 25, 2013 in Fitness Tips, Injuries, Medical No Comments »

Shoulder Rehab
Fitness Shoulders
Chronic Shoulder Instability and Impingement Syndrome are the most common types of shoulder injury. Chronic Shoulder Instability occurs when the ‘head’ of the upper arm bone moves out of the shoulder socket. This results in a shoulder joint dislocation and causes great pain. On the other hand, impingement syndrome is prompted by friction occurring between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff. The friction from the rotator cuff and the shoulder blade may be caused by inflammation in a tendon or muscle.

Preparations to Rehab an Injured Shoulder

It’s important to remember that any injury needs to be checked and treated by an accredited physician.  They may recommend medication and several rehabilitation techniques to encourage the shoulder to heal and function as soon as possible.  The Physician will also be able to see the specifics of your injury that may alter they way you would treat it. Here are some tips to consider when preparing an injured shoulder for rehabilitation.

  1. Get a lot of rest. A great way to prepare your shoulder is to have adequate rest and sleep. Rest and sleep allows tissues to heal fast and most efficiently.
  2. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega – 3 fatty acids will prompt adequate blood circulation to tissues surrounding the shoulder joints. In addition, it will reduce the risk of inflammation in the shoulder area, construct cell membranes and maintain cell health. Good cells in the shoulder area will affect the muscle tissues.   Foods rich in Omega – 3 include green vegetables, tofu, salmon, sardines walnuts, soybeans, halibut, scallops and others.
  3. Hyper-extend your spine once daily. In layman’s term, hyper-extend means stretching your back muscles by lying on your back while positioned on an exercise ball. Be careful while doing this to avoid more injuries.
  4. Warm-up. It’s a basic but crucial step in exercise. Allow 10 minutes of stretching activities to warm up tissues in shoulder region.

Rehab Regimen for Chronic Shoulder Instability

If you had Chronic Shoulder Instability, it’s vital to provide stability to the shoulder and aim to restore normal strength in the shoulder muscles via rehabilitation. The areas where strength should be concentrated should be the rotator cuff muscle, muscles supporting the shoulder blade and arm muscles like triceps and biceps

Before attempting any form of physical exercise, wait for 6-8 weeks to make sure that the muscles are completely and properly healed. In addition, medical advice should always be heeded for a speedy recovery. Doctors and physical therapist should be consulted before any activities are undertaken.  They will provide guidance over the proper performance of each exercise and what is suitable for your recovery. A normal healing period in the shoulder is approximately 12 weeks.

Rehabilitation of Shoulder after Impingement Syndrome

For Impingement Syndrome, it is important to eliminate exercises that require lifting and over-the-shoulder positions until your shoulder has healed. Before attempting any exercises, these two reminders should be followed:

  • When swimming, do only sidestrokes or breaststroke
  • Lift only light weights below shoulder level
  • Lift objects close to body
  • Only use light weights and weights should be below shoulder level
  • Lift only objects, which are close to body

You must undergo a series of approved strengthening exercises by your doctor or physical therapist to regain strength in your shoulder. Two appropriate strengthening exercises for recovery from impingement syndrome are scapular squeezes and bent-over row. Instructions to perform these exercises are:

  • Scapular Squeezes: Lie on your back with bent knees. Extend your arms straight out with palms facing upwards. Keeping your back flat against ground, squeeze shoulder blades down and towards each other. Hold position for five seconds and repeat 20 times.
  • Bent-Over Row: Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your right foot slightly forward and left foot slightly backwards. Place resistance band under the right foot. Hold each end of band with one hand and bend the waist at 45 degrees. Allow your arms to hang towards the floor; your wrist and elbow should be in line with your shoulder. Pull band towards chest by bending elbows and moving shoulder blades together. Once your hands touch, return arms to full extension.

Best of luck with your rehab and remember to always seek specialist advice before performing any recovery exercises.

About the Author:

Sharon Freeman is a freelancer who writes about shoulder surgery and health information for websites like

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