What are the Different Dislocated Shoulder Exercises?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 December 2019
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Recovering from a dislocated shoulder will require time and patience, as such an injury can be quite painful both to incur and to recover from. Dislocated shoulder exercises should not be attempted until most of the pain from the injury has subsided and a professional physical therapist or doctor has recommended exercise. Most dislocated shoulder exercises involve restoring mobility and strength in the shoulder, since the ligaments in the shoulder will have incurred an injury that weakens and stretches them. Mobility exercises should be done first, before strengthening exercises are attempted. Common mobility exercises include simple rotational movements and stretches.

Assisted mobility dislocated shoulder exercises should be done first. This involves using one's uninjured arm to support the injured one during mobility exercises. Attempt the first dislocated shoulder exercises while sitting in a chair; reach across the body with the good arm and support the injured arm below the elbow. Slowly lift the injured arm upward to a little less than a ninety degree angle from the body. Hold this position briefly, then return to the starting position. Stop bending the shoulder upward if pain is felt.


While in the same position, one can swing the affected arm to and fro gently in a pendulum motion. Increase the length of the swing as pain is reduced. The pendulum swing can also be performed by standing next to a table. Lean on the table with the unaffected arm and swing the injured arm lightly to and fro. Other mobility exercises include pulling the arm outward away from the body, only a small amount at first. As the arm regains mobility, move further away from the body.

Resistance dislocated shoulder exercises should be performed only after the injured person is comfortable with mobility exercises. Start by standing facing a wall. Bend the affected arm at a ninety degree angle at the elbow and form a fist with the hand. Push the hand slightly against the wall until pain or discomfort is felt in the shoulder. Release if too much discomfort is felt. Hold the position momentarily, then rest. This is a light resistance exercise, and when little or no pain is felt during this exercise, the injured person may choose to move onto using resistance bands.

Resistance bands can be used during dislocated shoulder exercises to help rebuild strength in the shoulder. By pulling on the resistance bands from different angles, the muscles and tendons around the shoulder begin to strengthen again. Such exercises should not be attempted until no pain is felt in the shoulder.


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Post 2

Making circular motions with your arms is a good way to get shoulder exercise after a dislocation injury. This type of exercise helps a person regain a good range of motion and helps keep the shoulder joint flexible.

Post 1

Moving your arms back and forth while taking a brisk walk is also a good way to exercise a shoulder after an injury. Just be careful to start out slow and gradually work up to a higher level of activity over time.

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