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The Surgery-Free Way to Relieve Shoulder Pain

July 15, 2015  /  05:09 PM

Your shoulder can move in more directions than any other joint. Thanks to this freedom, you can toss pitches, sweep floors, swing a tennis racket, and hoist heavy suitcases into the overhead bin of an airplane.

But all too often, chronic shoulder pain makes these motions—and more—difficult. Some people choose to go under the knife for shoulder problems. Two recent research reviews, however, find that in many cases, exercises work as well as surgery to relieve pain and restore function.

Shoulder-strengthening moves like the ones below, using the TheraBand CLX, can improve your strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

If you have stubborn shoulder pain, consider asking a physical therapist or other expert to demonstrate the best program for you. But once you’ve mastered them, doing exercises on your own can effectively treat many cases of shoulder pain, the studies suggest.

Goals:

Increase flexibility; Increase strength; Increase range of motion; Avoid surgery

Activity:

Catching; Exercising; Serving; Swimming; Swinging; Throwing; Weightlifting

  • step 1

    Begin by placing your arm through the middle Easy Grip Loop of your CLX. While holding the opposite last loop in your hand, anchor your foot on the center of the CLX - you should be in a staggered stance. Now place the last easy grip loop in your hand that has the CLX on the upper arm. Using an open hand grip, raise your hand and arm upward and outward as if you were cocking your shoulder to throw a ball. Slowly allow your throwing arm to come down across your body as if you were throwing a ball and then repeat.

    <p>Begin by placing your arm through the middle Easy Grip Loop of your CLX. While holding the opposite last loop in your hand, anchor your foot on the center of the CLX - you should be in a staggered stance. Now place the last easy grip loop in your hand that has the CLX on the upper arm. Using an open hand grip, raise your hand and arm upward and outward as if you were cocking your shoulder to throw a ball. Slowly allow your throwing arm to come down across your body as if you were throwing a ball and then repeat.</p>
  • step 2

    Begin by placing your hands in the desired Easy Grip Loops. Typically your hands are about 2 to 3 loops apart. Place the CLX around your upper back and adjust your hands so that you have an open handed grip and palms are prone. Abduct your shoulders about 60° and bend your elbows about 45°. Keeping your arms raised and in position, push your arms forward and inward as if you were giving someone a hug. When your hands cross slightly in the middle, hold briefly and then slowly return to the starting position. Avoid shrugging shoulders to perform exercise.

    <p>Begin by placing your hands in the desired Easy Grip Loops. Typically your hands are about 2 to 3 loops apart. Place the CLX around your upper back and adjust your hands so that you have an open handed grip and palms are prone. Abduct your shoulders about 60&deg; and bend your elbows about 45&deg;. Keeping your arms raised and in position, push your arms forward and inward as if you were giving someone a hug. When your hands cross slightly in the middle, hold briefly and then slowly return to the starting position. Avoid shrugging shoulders to perform exercise.</p>
  • step 3

    Begin by placing one hand in the 3rd easy grip loop and the other hand in the last easy grip loop. Assume a hands-and-knees position with your hands directly below your shoulders. Lift your hand in the last easy grip loop up and anchor the upper arm to your side. Now externally rotate your shoulder and then lift your arm up and outward against the CLX with your thumb facing upward until your arm is parallel with the ground. Hold and slowly return to starting position and repeat.

    <p>Begin by placing one hand in the 3rd easy grip loop and the other hand in the last easy grip loop. Assume a hands-and-knees position with your hands directly below your shoulders. Lift your hand in the last easy grip loop up and anchor the upper arm to your side. Now externally rotate your shoulder and then lift your arm up and outward against the CLX with your thumb facing upward until your arm is parallel with the ground. Hold and slowly return to starting position and repeat.</p>
  • step 4

    Attach the end loops of your CLX securely to your CLX Door Anchor at a level above your head. Begin with your body diagonally facing the anchor point. Place your upper arm into the CLX so that the CLX is anchored just below your shoulder. Adjust your standing point to create the appropriate resistance. Pull the CLX downward and back moving only your shoulder blade. Do not rotate your trunk or hips. Hold briefly and slowly return to start position. As a more challenging exercise, add a small step backward once you have your shoulder pulled down. Then complete the exercise as normal.

    <p>Attach the end loops of your CLX securely to your CLX Door Anchor at a level above your head. Begin with your body diagonally facing the anchor point. Place your upper arm into the CLX so that the CLX is anchored just below your shoulder. Adjust your standing point to create the appropriate resistance. Pull the CLX downward and back moving only your shoulder blade. Do not rotate your trunk or hips. Hold briefly and slowly return to start position. As a more challenging exercise, add a small step backward once you have your shoulder pulled down. Then complete the exercise as normal.</p>
  • step 5

    Place one hand in an Easy Grip Loop and wrap around your back, then place the other hand in the desired Easy Grip Loop. Kneel down and place the CLX flat across your upper back in line with your scapulae and then place hands on ground to assume the plank position. Slowly lower your torso until elbows are bent just above 90 degrees, hold briefly, and then return to starting position. For an advanced movement add a second CLX of lesser resistance in front of your body. Perform resisted push up and roll into a side plank and perform a resisted full arm extension. Slowly return to starting position and repeat on opposite side.

    <p>Place one hand in an Easy Grip Loop and wrap around your back, then place the other hand in the desired Easy Grip Loop. Kneel down and place the CLX flat across your upper back in line with your scapulae and then place hands on ground to assume the plank position. Slowly lower your torso until elbows are bent just above 90 degrees, hold briefly, and then return to starting position. For an advanced movement add a second CLX of lesser resistance in front of your body. Perform resisted push up and roll into a side plank and perform a resisted full arm extension. Slowly return to starting position and repeat on opposite side.</p>

Dr. Phil Page

PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM

Phil Page PhD, PT, ATC, CSCS, FACSM, LAT is a licensed physical therapist, athletic trainer, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He graduated from LSU in physical therapy and received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from Mississippi State University, as well as a doctorate in Kinesiology from LSU. He has been involved in rehabilitation and sports medicine for over 25 years. Dr. Page was recently named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He is currently the Global Director of Clinical Education and Research for Performance Health, manufacturer of TheraBand, Biofreeze & Cramer products. His duties include maintaining the Thera-Band Academy website, directing the international educational programs and managing product research around the world. Dr. Page is also an instructor in the Athletic Training curriculum at Louisiana State University and a Clinical Instructor of Orthopedics for Tulane Medical School in New Orleans.

 

Dr. Page’s clinical and research interests include the role of muscle imbalance in musculoskeletal pain, and promoting physical activity for health-related physical fitness, particularly for chronic disease management. He is a member of educational committee for the “Exericse is Medicine” initiative for the ACSM. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy and serves as a member of several national advisory boards. Dr. Page is on the scientific review committees for the APTA and ACSM. He regularly reviews grants and article submissions for several professional journals.

 

Dr. Page lectures extensively and provides workshops on a variety of topics around the world, including the Janda Approach to Muscle Imbalance. He was  awarded the Lifetime Excellence in Education Award by the Sports Physical Therapy Section of the APTA. He has presented over 100 international lectures and workshops on exercise and rehabilitation topics, and has over 50 publications including 3 books; most recently publishing Assessment and Treatment of Muscle Imbalance: The Janda Approach. He has worked with the athletic programs at LSU, Tulane, the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, as well as the United States Olympic Track and Field Trials. He lives with his wife and 4 children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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