Two exercises that can help your degenerative shoulder arthritis

Degenerative Arthritis

Most of us are resigned to developing degenerative arthritis, or osteoarthritis, in our knees and hips. Yet we don’t consider how many of us are likely to develop shoulder osteoarthritis, too. 

Osteoarthritis occurs when joint structures wear out over time. The many tasks people do every day that involve their shoulder joints mean these joints are prime candidates for this condition. Just how likely you are to develop shoulder osteoarthritis is revealed by one medical study. This study reports that nearly 33% of people over 60 had degenerative arthritis in their shoulders. 

Physical therapists can assist people who are living with shoulder osteoarthritis. They can develop a therapy plan that contains many PT techniques, but one of the most commonly used techniques is therapeutic exercises. Some of the exercises your physical therapist could have you do include the following two exercises: 

  1. Lying shoulder flexion exercise

Purpose: This exercise can help degenerative shoulder arthritis patients by stretching the shoulder muscles and improving joint range of motion. 

How to do the lying shoulder flexion exercise: 

  • Grab a cane or a broom handle and lie down face-up on the floor or your bed. 
  • Place your hands slightly more than shoulder width apart on the cane or broom handle with your palms facing down. 
  • Slowly raise your hands over your head while keeping your elbows straight. 
  • Stop when you feel a stretch in your shoulders, chest and upper back. 
  • Hold this stretch for 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Return your arms to the starting position and rest for a few seconds. 
  • Repeat this stretch until you’ve completed three or four repetitions. 
  1. Shoulder blade squeeze exercise

Purpose: This exercise can help improve shoulder and upper back muscle strength, and it can be done almost anywhere by people with degenerative shoulder arthritis. 

How to do the shoulder blade squeeze exercise:

  • If you’re doing the exercise while standing, stand up straight with your head centered over your shoulders. 
  • If seated, slide forward so your shoulders aren’t touching the back of your chair, and sit up as straight as possible. 
  • Once in position, relax your shoulders. 
  • Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together as much as you can. Be sure not to lift your shoulders up as you squeeze. 
  • Hold the squeeze for three to five seconds. 
  • Slowly relax your shoulder blades. 
  • Repeat the exercise until you’ve done eight to 10 reps.

Find help with degenerative shoulder arthritis at SSOR

Are you looking for help with the degenerative arthritis in your shoulders? Our physical therapists at Specialists in Sports and Orthopedic Rehabilitation are ready and willing to help you. We can do a free screening on your shoulders to confirm that your symptoms are being caused by osteoarthritis. 

Then, our team can create an individualized therapy plan for you that’s intended to decrease your symptoms. You can even sign up for at-home care or virtual therapy sessions with us and treat your osteoarthritis from home. 

Contact us today for more information about our shoulder arthritis treatment services or to schedule an initial appointment.