Modifications and Adaptations:  Shoulder injuries can really limit our ability to reach overhead.  Yet, when we are able to, many great practices become available.  If you can't reach overhead, modify and adapt your movements to accommodate what you can do, and gradually seek to gain more range.  Remember as always, if something hurts it is not good to do it.  Simply stop, review, make accommodations, and proceed slowly.
With shoulder injuries, it is most common that we "collapse" forward.  When that happens it is really hard to move well.  You can notice this by simply "hunching over" and then trying to raise your arm out to the side - it's very hard.   A fundamental part of ensuring good recovery from shoulder pain requires good stabilization of the shoulder blade.  That is, the flat bone of the shoulder blade has to point down and in - towards the low back.  It naturally involves good head alignment and chest lifting and a sense of "anchoring" the shoulder blade.
Arm Swing and Underhand Toss
  • The practice is to get a smooth underhand swing.
  • You will be able to tell by how gracefully the ball is launched.
  • Try easy tosses where the ball barely leaves your hand.
  • Incorporate posture, then ease at the shoulder, and release through the arm and wrist.
  • Remember this walking too, the arms loose and able to swing.
  • Note everything that has to let go.
Overhand Catch
  • If you can't reach overhead, catch it where you can.
  • If you can reach overhead, let yourself arch back to find the ball.
  • Let your shoulder drop down and back to provide a good base for the ball to move into.
  • Coordinate your sight, and align yourself underneath.
  • When the ball lands in your hand, let the impact anchor your shoulder.  Let the feeling reverberate through your body giving it good sensory input.
Chest Lift
  • If you have trouble moving your arms overhead, this practice may not be possible until you heal more.  When you can it will be invaluable.
  • You want to use a ball that is weighted such that it gives you a challenge, but not so heavy that it compromises your posture.
  • Hanging the ball behind your head places the shoulder blades in a great position to work from.
  • Lift the chest and collar bones, letting the shoulder blades slide further down your back.
Carry the Hoop
  • Use the hoop to work your arms around.
  • A hula-hoop works, but a heavier hoop can be better as you can push and pull your arms around.  (see Suggestions on Toys for more detail)
  • Reach into the areas that are challenging for you.
  • Relax when you reach a barrier.
  • Pause for the opening and when you feel it ease into it.
  • Let your body help you.
  • Keep your posture.
Overhead Ring Play
  • If you have shoulder trouble such that you can't raise your arm so much, just take it the the level you can.  If you can use your other shoulder to help lift that troubled side, try that too.
  • You'll need a stronger ring than a hula-hoop.
  • Use both hands in opposition to push and pull each side into improved range and strength.
  • Work your strengths and weakness.
  • Vary the height and position of the ring.
  • Let your stronger side lift and move the other side.
Arms Out and Up
  • Stand on the middle of your stretchy elastic band.
  • Gather the ends so you have some resistance.
  • Lift your arms out to the sides.
  • As your arms go up, let your shoulder blades anchor down.
  • Get you mid back strong.
Arms Straight Up
  • Stand on the middle of your stretchy elastic cord.
  • Gather the ends of the cord in each hand.
  • Punch your hands up, along the side and front of your body.
  • The shoulder blades anchor down as the arms go up.
Row Your Shoulders Back
  • Sit on the floor, legs long.
  • Drape the stretchy cord around your feet.
  • Gather each end of the cord with each hand.
  • Pull back, letting the resistance anchor your shoulder blade.
Door Jam Stretch
  • Stand in a doorway.
  • Reach your arm out to the side and anchor your arm on the door-jam.
  • Tuck your shoulder blade down.
  • Lean forward with your body, giving the front of your chest and shoulder a gentle stretch.
  • Turn your head away from the shoulder and accentuate the stretch at the front of the chest.

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Longmont CO 80501