Shoulder rehabilitation

Shoulder rehabilitation

There are mainly ailments that can occur around the shoulder area that affects the normal movement of the muscles.  Following an assessment to establish the cause of pain/reduced movement, your physiotherapist will often provide exercises alongside treatment to improve the area of dysfunction.

The following types of exercises are examples of what you may be given, depending on what your needs are:


Also called static exercises, here the muscles contract but don’t move.  Typically you may use a wall to push against.  They are good if a joint is painful.


This involves making sure the muscles that keep the shoulder blade close to the ribs cage are working correctly to allow a fluid glide movement as the arm lifts.  Winging occurs when these muscles are not working quite correctly for this to and needs to be addressed.


If pain is not too dominant you can start to encourage more range at the joint in all directions, work within a comfortable range.   This allows all structures to work normally and improve active range.  You may start with a pendulum movement, progressing to assisted movement with your other hand or a pole.


Is defined as the body’s awareness of where joints are in space and looks at how the joint is coordinated in movement. Nerve sensory information is responsible for checking joint stretch, tension and position which can be affected through injury.  This is retrained with repetitive movement in good positions to ‘retrain’ normal movement patterns.

Dynamic strength

These exercises are active and often consider rotation movements at the shoulder, carried out when pain has settled and function can be progressed.  These are important if there has been a dislocation or impingement around the shoulder.

Functional shoulder strength

These are often related to your specific work, sport or home life activities and will look to regain your ability to move, lift and stabilise in all directions according to the demands required on the shoulder.



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