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If you just had shoulder surgery, you may feel a bit more pain compared to before the surgery. This is because your body needs time to heal properly after the trauma of surgery.

A physical therapist can guide you through specific shoulder exercises that can help you improve affected muscles and regain your strength. In this article, you will learn about different shoulder exercises to help speed recovery of your shoulders after surgery.

Shoulders require different types of exercises after a surgery, depending on the type of surgery that was performed and the affected area of your shoulder. For example, range of motion exercises help determine how far or how wide can your shoulders move and help keep you limber to avoid straining your shoulders. Strengthening exercises help you regain power and sturdiness in the shoulders to ensure you are capable of lifting items and carrying out other daily tasks. Endurance exercises help improve your overall health and allow you to carry out movements and tasks without feeling exhausted. Endurance exercises also help determine how fast your shoulders adapt and recover.

Best Post-Surgery Shoulder Exercises

Below are five of the most recommended shoulder exercises for patients recovering from a shoulder surgery. Always consult with your doctor or physical therapist before including a new exercise to your post-surgery rehabilitation.

  1. Assisted Shoulder Elevation. This exercise can be performed sitting or lying down. To do this, you must cuff your hands together and slowly lift your arms going towards your head, straightening it as much as possible. Maintain your arms together for about 20 seconds, then slowly lower your arms back in resting position.
  2. Rotator Cuff Strength. In a standing position, place your arms a little behind your back and clasp your hands together. Stretch it out as much as you can. While both arms are behind, slowly lift them up and down to add some pressure on your shoulders.
  3. Reaching Exercises. While sitting down, raise your arms forward and straighten them as much as you can, then alternate moving each arm forward as if trying to reach for something. Try adding some pressure on the shoulders for an even better exercise.
  4. Internal Rotation. Lie down on the affected shoulder and bend the elbow on that side to a 90-degree angle. Using the same arm, slowly lift a dumbbell or a light weight then bring the arm back to place. Do this repeatedly and alternate with the other shoulder if possible.
  5. Shoulder Adduction. Place a small cushion in between the side of your chest and arm (a little bit below the armpit). Slowly squeeze the pillow and try to lessen the gap between your elbow and the side of your chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Slowly release the pressure to relax your arms then do 10 more rounds.

If you had shoulder surgery and are experiencing pain, your orthopedic doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you recover. Get the advice you need to heal better, faster by calling the orthopedic and physical therapy experts at Doctors United or you may request an appointment now.

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