Due to hurricane damage, the Havelock location is closed until further notice. Havelock therapists Hannah Zhang, Sarah Hall and Judy Hickes are available to see patients at the New Bern location. Please call the New Bern location at (252) 636-9800 to discuss your care.

Two exercises to try if you fell on your shoulder and it hurts to raise your arm

Fell on Shoulder Hurts to Raise Arm

Your shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in your body. It’s the mobility of this joint that allows you to move your arm in a complete circle and lift it over your head. However, this mobility comes with a price, and the price is an increased risk of injury. 

Medical studies report that about 15 in every 1,000 people are affected by shoulder pain every year. Falling on your shoulder is a common source of shoulder pain, and such an accident can lead to pain when trying to raise your arm as well. Therapeutic exercises are one physical therapy technique that can help treat shoulder pain. Here are two therapeutic exercises in particular that could help your painful shoulder: 

  1. Head tilt

The head tilt is an exercise that can help you if you’ve fallen on your shoulder and it hurts to raise your arm now. The name of this therapeutic exercise might lead people to believe that it can’t do anything for your shoulders. However, therapists often recommend the head tilt exercise because it can stretch muscles on the top of your shoulder, and it can help target muscle tension in the neck as well. 

Steps for performing the head tilt exercise

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart. Make sure your back and neck are straight as well. 
  • Slowly tilt your head to the left until you feel a stretch in your right shoulder. 
  • Hold this stretch for 10 seconds. 
  • Lift your head so that your neck is straight again. 
  • Slowly tilt your head to the right to stretch your left shoulder. 
  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds. 
  • Continue to repeat these steps until you’ve stretched each shoulder three times. 
  1. Pendulum exercise

Active exercises aren’t the only ones that can help when a fall on your shoulder is now leading to pain when raising your arm. The pendulum exercise falls into a category called passive range-of-motion (ROM) exercises. It uses the force of gravity and gentle movements of your body to stretch the muscles in your shoulder, and therapists commonly prescribe this exercise for people recovering for shoulder surgeries. 

Steps for performing the pendulum exercise

  • Stand next to a table or counter with your feet about hip width apart. 
  • Slowly bend from the waist until you’re looking down at the ground.
  • Place your unaffected hand on the table or counter to help maintain your balance. 
  • Let your affected arm hang down toward the floor. 
  • Move your body slightly to swing your arm in small clockwise circles for 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Reverse the direction of your arm and move it in counterclockwise circles for another 20 to 30 seconds. 
  • Take a brief break to rest your shoulder. Then repeat these steps again until you’ve done the exercise three times. 

Fell on your shoulder and it now hurts to raise your arm? Peak Performance can help

Has a recent fall on your shoulder made raising your arm painful? Our team at Peak Performance is primed to help you deal with your pain. We offer a free screening service that’s intended to help reveal the source of your shoulder pain. With this information, our team can build you a personalized therapy plan that can reduce your pain. 

Don’t wait to start getting our help with your shoulder injury. Contact us today for more shoulder pain treatment information or to schedule an initial appointment.