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A SLAP Tear (Superior Labrum Anterior and Posterior) is an injury to the labrum of the shoulder and is usually caused by acute trauma to the shoulder or repetitive motion.
A SLAP Tear can cause many shoulder problems including pain, decreased shoulder strength, and decreased range of motion. These stretches and exercises should help restore movement and strengthen your shoulder.
The first stretches are called pendulums. Use a small weight in your hand to help open up the shoulder joint. 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.
Now you are going to be in standing using a 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.
The next 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 arm forward with your thumb facing upward towards the ceiling and lean your body forward until you feel a stretch. You can stabilize the ball with your other hand. Hold it for 3-5 seconds, and start off with 10-15.
Then you will be in the quadruped position. Get on all fours, and try to get your hands directly under you shoulders perpendicular to the floor. Trying to keep your balance and use the stability of your shoulder, lift one hand up and tap the other hand slowly and controlled. Alternate back and forth. If this becomes easy, then you can go into a plank position, and repeat the same movement.
For the next exercise, you will do a shoulder external rotation with a resistive band. Try to keep your elbows by your sides through out the exercise. If you want to roll up a small towel and place it between your side and your elbow for each side, this will keep your arms close to your side through out the exercise. Keep your elbows at about a 90 degree angle and your thumbs up towards the ceiling. Also try to keep your wrists in a neutral position. You don’t want to over stress your wrists, and then have a wrist injury. Slowly pull both arms out away from each other keeping your elbows at your side, and then slowly come back in. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive band.
Then you are going to do 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. The next exercise is going to be punches or scapular protraction. Wrap the band around you, and keep your arms straight in front of you. Punch forward, but try not to bend your elbows. Start off with 10 of these, and then work your way up to 20-25. If that becomes easy, then move up with resistive band.