The Head & Jaw The Neck The Upper Back, Chest, & Ribs The Shoulder The Elbow, Wrist & Hand The Low Back, Abdomeb, & Pelvis The Hip The Knee The Leg, Ankle & Foot
GENERAL INFORMATION, STRETCHING, STRENGTHENING AND ERGONOMICS OF THE
The Shoulder

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The shoulder joint is one of the most dynamic joints in the human body. A map of the human brain reveals the hand as being one of the most important structures for sustaining the daily needs of life and we look at the shoulder as the multi-directional hinge that controls the hand.
 
Self management
Self management of the shoulder begins with understanding how dynamic the shoulder is. An appreciation for the number of directions it can go and the amount of muscles, bones, joints etc. involved with movement of the shoulder suggests that balanced approach to rehabilitation is key. A balanced approach involves both stretching and strengthening exercises for the shoulder in multiple directions.
 
Shoulder Stretching
Movement of the shoulder requires freedom and co-ordination of the Hand, Elbow, Shoulder, neck, and upper and lower back (to a lesser extent the whole body). It is important to make sure that these areas are working well and generally some stretching and movement exercises to these areas will help with the shoulder movement.


Side-Bending Neck/Shoulder Stretch
A very effective stretch for the neck which stretches multiple muscles along the neck.
(1) Place one hand on your head and the other hand behind your back.
(2) Your hand on your back remains stable while you pull and stretch with the hand on your head.
Effectiveness with variance: once you feel the stretch has been effective then change the place of the hand on your head (either towards the face or the back of the head) and stretch again in another direction. You can effectively do this stretch with your hand in 5-10 different positions.
The hand behind the back: this ensures that your shoulder does not get pulled up with the stretch. As an alternative you can hold a weight in your hand or you can also hold onto the bottom of a chair if seated.



Chest/Front of shoulder Stretch (Pectoral Stretch)
(1) Find a doorway (or alternatively a corner of a room) and place both arms on the side. Gently lean forward with your chest while keeping your head upright. You should feel a stretch at the front of your chest and shoulders.
(2) An alternative is to target one side as shown: grasping a doorway (or similar) and gently twist your upper body away so you feel a stretch through the front of your shoulder and chest.
(3) Target one side by bringing your arm/elbow up behind a door and lean forward.
                                         
                          

Foam Roller/Rolled Up Towel Upper Back/Chest Stretch
This is a simple and relaxing exercise that effectively stretches the upper back but also influences the chest, neck, shoulders and lower back. It can be performed with a foam roller (or equivalent) but is also quite effective with a rolled up towel. Simply place the roller along your spine and balance with your knees up (feet slightly apart) and your arms stretched outwards (or upwards as in the second image). Make fine adjustments with your legs, back, neck, and arms until you find a comfortable position and simply keep this position for 3-10 minutes or as long as comfortable.









Rotator Cuff Stretch
Find a towel or something similar. Rotate one hand up and above your head and leave the towel hanging down to rotate the other hand behind your back and grip the towel. Gently stretch by pulling the towel upwards and then downwards.











Shoulder Extension Stretch
Find a table at a suitable level for you. Stand facing away from the table, bend both arms backwards and place them on the table and then enhance the stretch by squatting downward.












Triceps Stretch
This is a stretch for the muscles running back of the arm. Bring 1 arm up above and across the back of the head and with the other had grip the elbow. Pull the arm across the back of the head. You can ass side-bending of the upper the body to get a great overall body and fascia stretch to that side.











Shoulder External Rotation Stretch
Find a corner or something to grip your hand onto.Keep your elbow by your side and then bend your arm to 90 degrees and twist your arm and hand outward away from your body (you should feel a twisting stretch through the front of your shoulder). Hold onto the wall and gently press your chest forward to enhance the twisting stretch to your shoulder.










Shoulder Flexion Strengthening (Resistance Band)
The following are two alternate ways to perform the same exercise:
(1) Wrap the band around your foot and secure it in the hand of the same side. Begin with your arm at
your side and slowly raise your arm up (with elbow kept straight) close to the line above your shoulder then slowly return it to your side.
(2) Secure the band on an object (e.g. a door handle) at the level of your hip and secure the band in your hand (stand facing away from the point of resistance). Gently pull upwards and forwards to above the shoulder level with your elbow straight and return back to the start position..
 













Shoulder Extension Strengthening (Resistance Band)
Secure the band on an object (e.g. a door handle) at the level of your hand and secure the band in your hand. Gently pull backwards with your elbow straight and return back to the start position.













Shoulder Abduction (Resistance Band)
(1) Secure the band under your foot and in the hand of the same side. Gently pull sideways and up above your head in an arc (keep elbow straight) and then return back to the start position.
(2) Secure the band to an object (e.g. a door handle) and in the hand of the opposite side. Gently pull sideways and to the level of your shoulder (keep elbow straight) and then return back to the start position.


Shoulder Adduction (Resistance Band)
Secure the band on an abject at a level just above shoulder height and in the hand of the same side. Start with your arm up (elbow straight) and away from your body (in line with shoulder) and gently pull sideways and down towards your body and then return back to the start position.



Shoulder Internal Rotation (Resistance Band)
Secure the band on an object at a level just above elbow height and in the hand of the same side. Start with elbow bent to 90 degrees (elbow at your side) with your hand resisting the band. Gently pull sideways across your body (keeping your elbow securely next to your body the whole time) then return back to the start position.


Shoulder External Rotation (Resistance Band)
Secure the band on an abject at a level just above elbow height and in the hand of the opposite side. Start with elbow bent to 90 degrees (elbow at your side) with your hand resisting the band (across your body). Gently pull sideways away from your body (keeping your elbow securely next to your body the whole time) then return back to the start position.


Shoulder Horizontal Adduction & Abduction (Resistance Band)
(1) Abduction: Secure the band on an object at a level of the shoulder and in the hand of the opposite side. Start with your hand grasping the band straight in front of your shoulder. Gently pull across and away from your body (with elbow straight) until your arm comes in line with the side of your body and then return slowly back to the start position.
(2) Adduction: Secure the band on an object at an approximate level of the shoulder and in the hand of the same side. Start with your hand grasping the band with your arm up and from your body (elbow straight). Gently pull across your body (with elbow straight) until your arm comes in line with the opposite side of your body and then return slowly back to the start position.














Shoulder Diagonal (Resistance Band)
(1) Secure the band on an object at a level above the head and in the hand of the opposite side. Start with your hand grasping the band across your body at approximately head height. Gently pull down diagonally across your body and opposite hip to the point where your arm is straight in a diagonal direction away from the point of resistance then return back to the start position
(2) Secure the band on an object at a level of the knee or lower and in the hand of the opposite side. Start with your hand grasping the band across your body at approximately hip height. Gently pull up diagonally across your body and shoulder to the point where your arm is straight in a diagonal direction away from the point of resistance then return back to the start position



Shoulder retraction - Scapular Stabilisation (Resistance Band)
Secure the band in both hands with the band running across your chest, elbows by your side and arms at 90 degrees. Squeeze your shoulder blades together with your arms slightly moving outwards then slowly retract back to the start position.


Shoulder Protraction (Resistance Band)
(1) Secure the band on an object at a level of the shoulder and in the hand of the same side. Start with your hand grasping the band with your arm bent back with your hand at shoulder level. Gently push forwards along the line of your shoulder until your arm is straight then slowly retract back to the start position. Note: this exercise can be done with both arms at once.
(2) Secure the band on an object at a level of the shoulder and in the hand of the same side. Start with your hand grasping the band with your arm straight out in front of you. Gently push forwards a few inches then slowly retract back to the start position. Note: this exercise can be done with both arms at once.


Shoulder Rolls (Resistance Band)
(1) Secure the band under both your feet and in both hands (palms facing towards your body - thumbs together). Gently pull upwards with your thumbs approaching your chin and then return back to the start position.
(2) Secure the band under both your feet and in both hands by your side (arm straight with band resistance). Gently shrug your shoulders up and then backwards and then return back to the start position.



Elbow Flexion (Resistance Band)

Secure the band under your foot and in the hand of the same side with your elbow next to your body. Gently raise your hand up (elbow bending) towards your shoulder and then slowly back down towards the start position.


Elbow Extension (Resistance Band)
Secure the band on an object at a level above elbow level and in the hand of the same side with your elbow next to your body and at 90 degrees. Gently pull your hand down and backwards towards your hip and then slowly back up towards the start position.


Bench Press
Always initially learn this exercise with a qualified gym instructor or experienced lifter. Lie on your back with a supported bar bell securely in both hands.Lift then gently and slowly lower the weight to the level of the chest, then push it back up until the arm is straight.


Bicep Curls
Ensure proper upright posture when performing bicep curls. This will ensure the rest of the shoulder is working properly to support each repetition. Grasp the dumbbell securely with your hand and gently curl your arm up toward your shoulder and then gently roll it back down.


Shoulder/Chest Fly Dumbbell
Start with your  dumbbells in each hand with arms straight in line with your shoulders. Gently raise both dumbbells up above your chest till they are about to touch then gently bring them down again.



Abduction strengthening

Start with your  dumbbells in each hand with arms by your side. Gently raise and arc both dumbbells up above your shoulders then gently bring them down again.



Push-Ups
The push-up starting position is to have your elbows straight (locked). Then slowly lower your body by bending your elbows and gradually bring your chest down til it almost touches the floor then lift back up to the starting position. Your hands should be just outside shoulder width and on a 45 degree angle.