Shoulder Arthritis Stretches & Exercises

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a licensed Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. If you have a question, just ask. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Buy Shoulder Arthritis WorksheetThese shoulder arthritis stretches and exercises should help relieve the pain caused by shoulder arthritis.

The first stretches are called pendulums. Use a chair or counter top for balance, and lean over so your arm hangs down towards the ground. Move your body, not your arm in circles so your arm swings around like a pendulum. You can also rock front to back and side to side. Start off with 10 of each and work your way up to a minute of each.

Then you are going to be in standing using a weight or resistive band. Try to keep your arm straight the whole time and don't bend your elbows. Your thumb is going to be pointed upwards. The first two are front and back which are flexion and extension. You don't need to raise the band way above your head. You can bring it to a 90 degree angle which is where your arm is parallel to the floor for flexion. Now you are going do put your arm out at a 45 degree angle which we call scaption.

Now you will do shoulder shrugs. Lift your shoulders up towards the ceiling, but try to keep your head and neck in one spot. Don’t bring your ears down towards your shoulders, lift your shoulders up. Do 10 of these. Now for shoulder circles. You can roll them clockwise, and then counter clockwise. This will stretch out the shoulder and neck muscles. Start with10 each way, and work your way up from there.

The next exercise is going to be rows or scapular retraction. You can use your feet as an anchor. You want to keep your elbows in close to your body and make a rowing motion. Try to squeeze your shoulder blades together when you pull back. Make sure you are using a slow controlled motion.

For the final stretches you can use a Swiss/therapy ball, or if you don’t have one, you can use a table or counter top. This is an active assisted stretch, which means you are moving the arm now, but the ball will support the weight. You will slide your arms forward with your thumbs facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. You can stabilize the ball with your other hand, or stretch one shoulder at a time. You can also go out at an angle like the scaption or completely out to the side to stretch your pec muscles as well.

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