Surgery can be a complete shock to your system, and it may take a while for you to adjust post op. But it is important that you take control of your recovery and do what you can to help your body heal. Everyone responds differently to surgery, and some may require more time to heal than others. Factors such as age, lifestyle, and health before your surgery may also affect the time you take to recover. But despite your differences, anyone can benefit from post op shoulder exercises.
Exercise helps your body heal by strengthening your muscles to support the area that needs it. It can also improve your range of motion and improve your flexibility so that you don’t strain your muscles and hinder your healing.
To help you along your rehabilitation journey, we’ve put together a list of the most common shoulder exercises recommended after surgery. However, it is important to get professional advice before you undertake any exercise, and it is also important not to overdo it, as you can do more harm than good if you push your body too far and don’t give it sufficient time to rest and recover.
Three Post Op Shoulder Exercises to Speed up Your Recovery
- Wall Crawls
As the name implies, this exercise involves you slowly ‘crawling’ up the wall with your fingers. To do this, you need to extend your arm and rest it on a wall, keep your elbow straight, and distance your body around 2-3 steps from the wall. Start with your arm out at around a 40-degree angle and then gently ‘crawl’ up the wall as far as you are able to and then hold your arm in place for 15 seconds. Do this exercise a few times each day. This is a great early post op exercise to get you started and loosen your shoulder up.
Hold a broomstick or any straight stick out in front of you with both hands placed equally apart. Keep your arms in line with your shoulders and keep your elbows straight. Slowly start lifting it up towards the ceiling as far as you can (without experiencing any pain) and hold it to the highest point for around 10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times and do three sessions of this per day.
3.Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises
Stand up straight and cuff both hands behind your back. Stretch out your arms as far as possible and gently lift them up and down. Repeat this 10 times and do three sessions of this per day.
With all of these exercises, it is important that you do them on a daily basis and keep consistent in order to strengthen your shoulder. It is equally important to listen to your body and to not push through the pain. Rather adjust the frequency and intensity of your exercise regime as you start to feel stronger and feel less pain.
If you are ever unsure of if you’re doing your post op shoulder exercises correctly, you can always visit a physiotherapist to get advice and to recommend exercises specific to your injured area. We hope that these three exercises help you to restore your independence so that you can get back to performing you daily activities without pain.
You are always welcome to book a consult with Dr Sachin Baba, our shoulder specialist, for advice on how you can improve your post op recovery, and on what pain killers and anti-inflammatory will be best for you. We wish you the best as you begin your healing journey!