Hey, what’s up everybody? Dr. Roger Saias here, your chiropractor for shoulder pain in Philadelphia, PA. And today I’m with my good friend, Dr. Brad Beyer. He’s one of our associate doctors, and he’s gonna go over some of the common exercises that he does when he’s treating someone with a shoulder injury.
We see a lot of shoulder injuries here. Brad can attest, whether it’s from a car accident or they were injured at work, from a repetitive motion or maybe they fell and they injured their shoulder.
But Dr. Brad works with a lot of patients who have these injuries and he’s gonna show us some of the more common exercises and protocols that he goes through with patients so that he can help improve their range of motion and overall function.
So, Dr. Brad, if a patient comes in with a shoulder problem, what are some of the symptoms that they may be experiencing if they’ve injured their rotator cuff or if they have that limited range of motion, what are some things you see that they can’t do?
– Well, the primary complaint with shoulders is almost always lack of elevation.
– Lack of elevation.
– They’re having a hard time lifting their arm. It’s as simple as that. Lifting, you’re trying to find something on the shelf, reaching, hauling, those types of real basic movements.
They’re too painful and it’s too restricted to really perform that type of act.
So what we try to do is try to really, with a goal in mind of improving range of motion and flexibility, we try to start out with a really basic stretch.
So we’ll start with a pendulum swing, just like this with a stretch stick. I will just go back and forth like that. And what our advice is, is with every little swing, you wanna try to get just a little bit higher. So the goal is to be eventually like over your head.
– But in small steps.
– Right, Brad.
– So the whole thing is just try to exercise within the boundaries of your comfort level. And then just try to push that boundary a little bit, try to slowly elevate the position.
– That’s great.
What are some other things that you do? I know that we do a lot of resistance band training. Are there specific exercises that you go over in relations with that?
What you’re trying to do if you’re trying to strengthen the shoulder, you wanna try to do it piece by piece. So what we like to do here is really target what’s called the rotator cuff, which is the muscle group that allows you to swing your arm back and forth this way and also elevate that way.
So the way we do it with that is resistance bands. So we’ll do an exercise where we tuck the elbow and we’ll swing it out just like that. And that targets these posterior shoulder muscles.
And then we’ll also do internal rotation which is just simply this motion in towards your belly. So we’ll tuck the elbow in again, and we’ll just go with this motion like that. So I was really trying to target small muscle groups to try to restore the function of the shoulder.
What are some other things? What do you find that’s really helpful that the patients go out, “This really feels good. I feel like this is making a big difference.” I know that we talked about wall crawls.
– Wall crawls are really good and effective. Very, very simple. Wall crawls are basically face the wall and allow your fingertips to kinda crawl up like a spider, and they’ll actually pull your arm up. So your shoulder’s not doing the work, is your fingertips are doing the work. But the end result is that the shoulder’s being elevated.
– And you find that helps put some more range of motions-
– Yeah it’s just helping shoulder’s discomfort.
– And patients are able to do that.
What are some other things that you find? So we’re trying to get all aspects of the shoulder. Are there any stretches that you give patients to do at home?
– Yes. There’s a really good one. It’s really, really simple. It’s basically arm circles. Is a very similar concept to the stick, but what we do is start out with arm circles, pointing towards the floor. So we’ll do sets of five. And on your fifth rep, you go up about 10 degrees.
So just like very slowly but surely, every fifth rep you’re moving your shoulders up a little bit. And with that repetitive motion trying to ease the shoulder discomfort, it kinda softens up that level of pain. And you’re hopefully trying, by the end, when a patient starts to really recover, you’re hopefully like above the head, above the shoulders with that elevation.
– What would you say if a patient is watching this video, a person’s watching this video right now and they’re having a shoulder problem, obviously if you’re having a shoulder problem, you should always get that evaluated, but is there something that you would recommend at home that they do to help, maybe if they are really acute, is there something to help bring down the pain a little bit?
– If they’re very acute, are you saying if they’ve already seen us or they’re just not really sure what to do
– But is there something they could do right now to help calm the shoulder down until they got some relief somewhere?
– Typically, it’s either heat or ice. One or the other. Some people respond much better to heat. Others respond much better to ice. Ice slows the metabolism down where the spasm will not be able to maintain its strength.
Heat actually softens things up and it brings more oxygen into that injured area. So there’s kind of two schools of thought about it, definitely either do one or the other. Sometimes you can alternate both together and just see if one works more effectively than another.
– Well, that’s definitely good advice. So if you’re watching this video and you are experiencing shoulder problems because you were injured in an accident or you don’t even know why your shoulder hurts but now it’s bothering you, don’t let it go too long.
The longer you wait, the longer you put off taking care of an injury, the harder it will be to correct. So with any of these exercises, if you do any of these movements or if you do heat or ice, none of these things are supposed to cause more problems.
So obviously if you’re doing any type of movement and it’s causing more pain,
obviously discontinue, and that would be a great time to give us a call and see if we can help you.
So if you’re watching this video, you’ve injured your shoulder for whatever reason, and you’re struggling and your quality of life is diminished and you’re not sure what to do
next, give our office a call. You can send us an email. You can drop us a comment on this video, but don’t hesitate.
Reach out to us as soon as possible. We would love to be able to help you. Thank you for watching this video. I’ll see you on the next one. I hope you have a great day.