If you have just had shoulder surgery, you will experience pain and discomfort in the area around your shoulders. However, to make a full recovery, you need to work out the muscles and joints in that area as they help relieve pain and stiffness in your arms and shoulders.

To effectively heal and recover, you can perform a combination of shoulder exercises multiple times a day, on a daily basis. The kind of exercises that would benefit you the most depends on the type of surgery you have had and how much it’s affected your shoulder. 

Post-Surgery Shoulder Exercise Types

  • Range of motion exercises helps you move your shoulders far and wide without straining them. 
  • Endurance exercises help your shoulders recover fast by adapting to movement. 
  • Strengthening exercises help you regain strength in your muscles so you can lift general items and get on with your routine.

Best Post-Surgery Shoulder Exercises

While there are many exercises, mentioned below are some of the most beneficial post-surgery shoulder exercises you can perform independently. Do keep in mind to discuss any exercise you undertake with your orthopaedic surgeon first to avoid any chances of further pain and injury.

1. Assisted Shoulder Elevation

Cuff your hands together and slowly lift your arms towards your head while straightening them. Maintain this position for 20 seconds before slowly lowering your arms back. Repeat this exercise 10-20 times per session, 3 times a day.

2. Rotator Cuff Strength:

Stand, place your arms behind your back, and clasp them. Stretch your arms as much as you can and gently move them up and down.

3. Pendulum Exercise:

Bend over your waist at 90 degrees, and let your affected arm hang downwards. Use your arm weight to sway your body and move your arm in clockwise and counterclockwise circles about 1 to 2 feet wide. Repeat this exercise 30 times per session, 3 times a day.

4. Grip Strengthening:

Make a tight fist or hold a rubber ball in your hands, and maintain that position for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise 30 times per session, 3 times a day.

5. Reaching Exercises:

Sit down and raise your arms forwards, straightening them as much as possible as if reaching to grab something.

6. Shoulder Adduction:

Place a small cushion between your arm and the side of your chest, and squeeze the cushion to lessen the gap. Maintain this position for 10 seconds and then release the pressure. Do ten rounds per session and repeat this exercise 3 times a day.

7. Walk-Up Exercise:

Keep your elbow straight and use your fingers to crawl up a wall or door frame. Maintain this position for 10-20 seconds and repeat this 10 times. Do this exercise three times a day.

For any exercise, let your pain guide you as to when to scale up or down your efforts. Consistently completing these exercises will certainly help relieve muscle soreness and stiffness, alleviating pain while building your shoulder strength back up. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Hicken.