Exercises After Shoulder Surgery

Exercises After Shoulder Surgery: While surgery seems to be the major step towards curing a particular shoulder problem, the accompanying exercise program which follows surgery is crucial to prevent joint stiffness following surgery. Such an rehabilitation exercise program facilitates the normal functioning of the various muscle groups surrounding the joint, strengthens the weakened muscles and ligaments and reduces the pain and inflammation around the shoulder joint.

Needless to say, the rehabilitation program should be done according to the advise of, and supervised by the operating surgeon and the physiotherapist. Unfortunately, not all physios are clued up as to how to rehabilitate shoulders after surgery, so make sure you follow my exercise guide and book “Exercise your Shoulder After Surgery”.

Usually in the first couple of weeks following any shoulder surgery, I have found 6 fantastic exercises to help speed recovery, minimize pain, and improve range of mobility. Here is the first exercise:

Exercises After Shoulder Surgery: The Pendulum

  • Keep the shoulder completely relaxed
  • Let momentum and gravity move it in circles
  • Go anti-clockwise and clockwise
  • Keep the circles within your comfort zone
  • Perform for 2 minutes, 3x per day

In the subsequent 4 weeks, stabilisation and mobilisation exercises are key. Here is an example:

Exercises After Shoulder Surgery--2 weeks: Sitting Stabilisation

  • Sit on a bench or chair
  • Rest your hands by your side
  • Gently lean from one hand to the other hand, putting gentle but increasing weight through the shoulder
  • Do not put all your weight through the right shoulder, just lean into it
  • Rock 15x onto the right shoulder, 3x per day.

In the following 6 weeks, more mobilisation is continued as well as further stabilisation. Some strengthening exercises may also be started to strengthen the rotator cuff. Postural awareness exercises are continued. The objective is to literally normalize the active range of movements of the affected shoulder by 12 weeks following surgery.

Exercises After Shoulder Surgery--6 weeks: 2-Point Kneeling

  • Adopt a 4-point kneeling position
  • Lift opposite arm and leg 2 inches from the floor, so that your weight is put through the bad shoulder
  • Hold for 30 seconds, 3x per day
  • Increase the hold for up to 2 minutes as you get stronger

After 12 weeks, the patient is encouraged to do resistive exercises as tolerated. Quality of exercising, postural awareness and proper progressive resistance exercise (PRE) progression are reinforced upon the patient.

Understanding shoulder surgery procedures will help you better understand how exercises after shoulder surgery can be vital to shoulder injury rehabilitation.