Physical Activity

Exercises for Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder

Part 1 :  Introduction to Exercise for Osteoarthritis of the Shoulder

Exercise can be a helpful way to manage the symptoms of arthritis, but it is important to exercise caution when performing certain activities. Shoulder arthritis can be made worse by activities that include lifting heavy objects or raising the arms above the head. However, too much reduction in physical activity can be harmful, as it is important to maintain strength and range of motion in joints affected by arthritis. Regular exercise of the shoulder muscles can help reduce pain, promote healthy cartilage, and increase range of motion and function.

Part 2:  Exercises - Shoulder Range of Motion and Stretching

The human shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, which gives it a great range of motion. But this mobility makes the shoulder joint unstable, forcing it to resort to surrounding muscles to compensate for the instability. Keeping your shoulder muscles flexible and strong through regular exercise and physical activity can help decrease pain and increase function.

Part 3 :  Exercises - Shoulder Strengthening (Rotation)

The muscles of the rotator cuff are small, but very important in maintaining the integrity of the shoulder joint. By strengthening these muscles, you will reduce your pain and improve your shoulder function. The rotator cuff muscles need endurance more than maximum strength, because they have to work every time you move your arm. The shoulder has a lot of muscle attachments, and it is important to work on all muscle groups at a range of motion that does not cause pain.

Part 4 :  Exercises - Shoulder Strengthening (Flexion, Abduction, and Extension)

Isometric exercise is a type of strength training that involves contracting a muscle without visibly moving the joint. Isometric exercise is done in one position, keeping the joint stable instead of moving it.
Isotonic exercise is a form of strength training that involves contracting a muscle while moving the joint through its range of motion. This can be done using weights, rubber bands, or your own body weight.

Part 5:  Exercises - Scapular Muscle Stabilization

Over time, performing these exercises regularly can help reduce pain and improve function. Before exercising, remember to warm up by slowly doing an aerobic activity. Also do a short cool-down after your workouts.