Shoulder Subluxation Exercises


Shoulder subluxation is a partial dislocation of the humerus bone at the shoulder joint. Typical causes of shoulder subluxation include trauma to the arm such as a fall or contact injury and placing the arm in an awkward position. This dislocation is a common occurrence after a stroke. Although the condition is temporary, rehabilitation exercises following a period of rest and icing are necessary to restore strength and movement in the shoulder.

Isometric Exercises

Isometric exercises increase strength in the muscles and connective tissue crossing joints without moving a joint. For shoulder subluxation rehabilitation, isometric exercises strengthen the shoulder and the shoulder remains motionless. An example of an isometric exercise is the shoulder adduction exercise with a pillow. Simply hug a pillow to your chest and squeeze.

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion exercises take a joint through all of the ways it can move to increase mobility. When the muscles around a joint are tight or weak, or there is an issue with the joint itself, the amount you can move the joint is less than that of a normal, healthy joint. Range of motion exercises restore this deficiency. Examples of range of motion exercises for a shoulder subluxation are shoulder flexion and shoulder extension. Stand with your affected arm at your side to begin. Move the arm forward and above your head. This is shoulder flexion. Lower the arm and then move it backwards into extension. Keep the arm straight.

Band Exercises

Band exercises, also known as tubing or cable exercises, are strengthening exercises that use elastic bands for resistance. Exercise bands require joint movement for strength training exercises. These exercises come after isometric exercises in a rehab program. An example of a band exercise for shoulder subluxation is the internal rotation exercise. To perform this exercise, tie one end of the band to a sturdy object at waist height. Place your elbow against your side with your forearm parallel to the floor and the other end of the band in your hands. Then rotate your arm inward toward your abdomen.

Chronic Subluxation Exercises

For a person who suffers chronic shoulder subluxations, exercises like rowing strengthen the shoulders to prevent and rehab shoulder subluxations. Depending on the individual, a machine, band or free weights might be appropriate for rowing. The deciding factor is what the shoulder can tolerate. To use a rowing machine, sit on the seat facing the weight stack and hold the bar or handles with your palms facing the ceiling. Start with the arms straight and bend the elbows to pull the bar or handles toward your waist. Pull your shoulders back, too.