The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with the ability to go in any direction. It is a very complex joint that we use daily. Because of this, it is prone to overuse and wear and tear. Shoulder problems can be treated by an orthopedic surgeon with non-surgical or surgical means. Post-recovery, the patient should commit to his or her shoulder rehabilitation program before returning to normal activities.
After making a full recovery from shoulder surgery, patients should prioritize maintaining shoulder health. Taking good care of your shoulder minimizes the frequency of injuries. To ensure long-term shoulder health, it is essential to incorporate a home exercise program into your routine. Here we have some exercises that can help you keep your shoulders strong and flexible.
The Benefits of Having a Home Exercise Program
After recovering from a shoulder injury or surgery, the muscles and tissues surrounding the shoulder joint may still require ongoing care and attention.
Participating in a home exercise program can provide numerous benefits:
Strength and Stability
Regular exercises targeting the shoulder muscles can enhance their strength, stability, and endurance. This can reduce the risk of re-injury and improve overall shoulder function.
Flexibility and Range of Motion
Specific stretching exercises can help maintain or increase shoulder flexibility, ensuring a full range of motion. Improved flexibility allows for better performance in day-to-day activities and sports.
Many shoulder issues are associated with poor posture. A well-designed home exercise program can focus on strengthening the muscles that support correct posture, reducing strain on the shoulder joints.
Certain exercises can help alleviate any residual pain or discomfort in the shoulder area. Strengthening the surrounding muscles can provide support and stability, minimizing pain during activities.
Designing a Home Exercise Program
When creating a home exercise program for maintaining shoulder health, it is crucial to consider the following:
#1 Begin with a Consultation with an Orthopedic Specialist
Before starting any exercise program, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic doctor or physical therapist. They can assess your specific condition, provide guidance, and tailor exercises to your needs.
#2 Make a Gradual Progression
Begin with gentle exercises and gradually increase the intensity, duration, and repetitions over time. This progressive approach allows the shoulder muscles to adapt and strengthen gradually, minimizing the risk of overexertion or re-injury.
#3 Have A Balanced Exercise Routine
A well-rounded exercise routine should include:
- Strengthening Exercises: Focus on exercises that target the muscles around the shoulder joint, so that the joint will experience less strain and have better support.
- Range of Motion Exercises: Stretching exercises help maintain or improve shoulder flexibility, which is very important for such a joint with this range of motion.
- Posture Correction Exercises: Exercises that target the upper back, neck, and chest muscles can help improve posture and provide better support for the shoulder joints.
#4 Consistency and Frequency
Consistency is key when it comes to maintaining shoulder health. Aim to perform your home exercise program at least two to three times per week. Set a schedule that works best for you, and make these exercises a regular part of your routine.
Examples of Home Shoulder Exercises
Here are a few examples of exercises that can be included in a home exercise program for shoulder health:
1.Shoulder Pendulum Swing
Stand with your unaffected arm resting on a sturdy surface. Lean forward and gently move your arm in small circles. Alternate moving in clockwise and counterclockwise motions. This exercise is very helpful in improving shoulder mobility and flexibility.
2.External Rotation with Resistance Band
Attach a resistance band to a doorknob or another secure object at waist height. Hold the other end of the band with your one arm, keeping your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle. Move your arm outward, slowly going against the resistance of the band. Do several repetitions for this great exercise for the rotator cuff muscles.
Stand facing a wall. Keep yourself about an arm’s length away. Place your palms flat against the wall, level with your shoulders, and shoulder-width apart. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the wall, and then push back up to the starting position. Wall push-ups help strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint.
4.Shoulder Extension Stretch
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Interlace your fingers behind your hips or hold onto a towel, yoga strap, or resistance band if needed. Extend your arms upward, lifting your hands away from your butt. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for one minute before releasing. This stretch improves range of motion and helps minimize the risk of shoulder injuries.
5.Shoulder Flexion Stretch
Stand facing a wall and slowly walk your fingers up the wall. Try to reach as high as you can without feeling like you are straining yourself. Pause when you feel a stretch in your shoulders and hold for 30 seconds, then return to the starting position. This overhead stretch is also very helpful in preventing injuries.
Shoulder Surgery in North Dakota
For persistent shoulder issues, consult one of our orthopedic surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center in North Dakota. Our orthopedic surgeons are fellowship trained in shoulder surgery, which means a physician with the highest level of training will be assessing and treating your shoulder. We create individualized shoulder strengthening programs for you which you can do at home to maintain shoulder health.
We are a leader in the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder conditions. To schedule an appointment with a top shoulder surgeon, call our office today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650 or use our online request form. Our team of friendly specialists look forward to your visit.