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Shoulder Separation Exercises

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

What are shoulder separation exercises?

Shoulder separation exercises help decrease pain and swelling after a shoulder separation. They also help strengthen your shoulder and arm muscles. Stop if you feel pain.

  • Pendulum swings: Lean over a table. Rest the hand of your uninjured arm on the outer edge of the table. Gently swing your injured arm forward and backward, side to side, and in circles. Repeat 20 times in each direction. Increase how far you swing your arm as you get used to the exercise.
    Pendulum Swing
  • Shrugs: Stand with your arms by your side. Lift your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 1 second. Then pull your shoulders back and pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold for 1 second. Relax your shoulders and repeat 20 times.
    Shoulder Shrugs
  • Punches: Lie on your back and extend your arms toward the ceiling. Lift your shoulders off the ground without bending your elbows. Lower your shoulders back to the ground. Repeat 30 times.
    Punches
  • Internal rotation: Lie on your back with your injured arm at your side. Bend your elbow 90° so that your hand points toward the ceiling. Hold a 1 or 2 pound hand weight. Bring your forearm toward your stomach and lift it back to the original position. Keep your arm close to your side and your elbow bent at 90° during the exercise. Repeat 20 times.
  • External rotation: This exercise is similar to the internal rotation, but it goes in the opposite direction. Lie on the side that is not injured. Bend your elbow 90° so that your hand points forward as if you are holding an object. Hold a 1 or 2 pound hand weight. Bring your arm away from your stomach and toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your arm to the original position. Keep your arm close to your side and your elbow bent at 90° during the exercise. Repeat 20 times.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • Your pain and swelling increase as you exercise.
  • You have pain at rest.
  • You have more weakness in your arm or hand.
  • You have new numbness or tingling in your arm or hand.
  • You have questions or concerns about your shoulder separation exercises.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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