Range of motion & Shoulder rehab

Range of motion gets through around a lot with shoulder injuries. Probably because shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries we see in our clinic and there is a reason. They can be really nagging and they’re generally something we can work around……but 6 months goes by and we start to realize this isn’t exactly going away.

They’re the big 3 when thinking about shoulder rehab which we can talk about


  1. Reduce pain


  1. Getting range of motion back (this is what we’ll be talking about today)


  1. Increase strength (which we talk about here)

Today is all about increasing range of motion in the shoulder, so how do we start doing that?


Range of motion is when we look at how our shoulder moves meaning can you you’re your shoulder above 90 degrees in all directions. If you can’t then we have something to work on! One of the first things we’re going to do for shoulder range of motion is Active assisted range of motion.


Active assisted range of motion:

  • What you’ll need
    • We can use a dowel, piping, or even a stick
    • We can also use a wall but we’ll go over that later
  • How do we do it?
    • Place the dowel in the palm of the hand of the injured shoulder
    • You’re opposite arm is the one doing all the work
    • Meaning if you’re following the video the injured arm would be Christina’s left arm while the right arm is the arm that feels normal
    • Then you’re pushing up with the arm that feels good guiding the injured shoulder with the dowel
  • When do we stop?
    • Find a range the is moderately uncomfortable mean that 2-3 pain scale we talked about before and slowly lower back down
    • Don’t rush this one there is no need to push to fast
    • You can also do this in any range meaning straight up in front of you or out to the side.


If you don’t have access to a dowel or stick the next option is a wall climb


Range of Motion Wall Climb:

  • Starting at around 90 degrees with your injured shoulder inch your fingers up the wall like you’re doing the itsy bitsy little spider
  • we’re going up until the pain is about a 2 or 3 and then slowly bring the hand back down


Both of these can be done for 4 sets of 6-8 depending on pain level. Each week you’re aiming to get a bit more range out of both of these BUT always focus on pain level and try not to push through discomfort

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Christina Prevett