It’s the most mobile, yes least stable joint in the body.
This makes for a joint that can sometimes be a bit confusing to treat, especially with the various diagnosis names and syndromes that are thrown around.
With names like frozen shoulder, rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, and various other scary-sounding titles, we quite often just need to help get the shoulder moving again.
Here are four of my favourite graded exposure/altered movements I use to help patients get their shoulder moving again.
This first one is a great way to help when a patient is having difficulty with shoulder flexion.
This one is a great way to help with shoulder extension.
Here’s one to use on your table to assist with abduction.
And finally, if you have a broomstick, a piece of dowel, or something similar in your clinic, here’s another way to help with shoulder abduction.
- The biggest thing we want to do is instill confidence in our patients by showing how these movements are safe.
- Showing patients that a little discomfort is okay, and it’s not the same as pain.
- Make the movements meaningful to patients so they will do them at home.
- Do the movements before and after your treatment demonstrating to the patient how much improvement THEY have made.
- Make it fun.