Your shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body; it can rotate your arms to the side, in front, above and behind your body. However, this flexibility also makes the shoulder prone to injury like dislocation and more. Shoulder rehabilitation exercises help to relieve pain, increase flexibility, and prevent future injuries. Following surgery, strengthen shoulder muscle with range-of-motion movements and after that proceed with resistance training and exercises. As you work to regain strength in your shoulder muscles after surgery, you want rehabilitation exercises that are challenging. Consult with your Pensacola shoulder surgeon or physical therapist before engaging in any exercise program following surgery. 


Simple range-of-motion exercises, according to, are the main step in strengthening and rehabilitating a shoulder. For a warm-up exercise, try pendulum swings. First, with your uninjured arm, hold the edge of a table or sturdy chair while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, allow your injured arm dangle down to the floor while leaning forward, bending at the hips. Lastly, slowly swing your arm in a small circle while relaxing your shoulder and increase the circle on each rotation. Begin with 20 circles clockwise, followed by 20 circles counterclockwise. Repeat this exercise several times daily.


To avoid muscle weakness and stiffness following surgery, incorporate stretching into your routine as soon as possible. During the first few weeks, perform stretches gently; never force stretches. Stretches should be performed several times per day and stopped if you experience pain in your shoulder. For a light shoulder stretch, begin by grabbing your injured arm and bring it across your body. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds. Next, stand in a doorway touching the top of it with the hand of the injured arm. While stretching the front of your shoulder, lean forward slightly. Hold this stretch for five seconds, to begin with, and like the flexibility increases, increase the duration. Repeat these stretches several times daily. 


Your physical therapist may add exercises to your rehabilitation program as your shoulder strength increases. Prior to doing exercises with free weights, begin by using a resistance band. Attach the band to an exercise machine or a door. Position yourself with your “bad” arm away from the machine or door. Using the hand of the injured arm and with your elbow straight, grip the handle of the band and slowly pull the band away from your body. Do 5 – 10 repetitions. Turn to face the machine or door, while keeping the band in the hand of the “bad” arm. Gently pull the handle behind you while keeping your arm straight. Perform 5 – 10 repetitions, then turn so the door or machine is behind you. Gently pull the handle forward while keeping your arm straight and the handle in the same hand. Begin with one set of 5 – 10 repetitions. As you progress, increase repetitions.  

To learn more about shoulder rehabilitation exercises after surgery, speak with an or your physical therapist today. 



O’Grady Orthopaedics

1040 Gulf Breeze Pkwy #200

Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

(850) 916-3731


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