Arthroscopic subacromial decompression: excercises

 Use pain relief to keep the pain at bay before exercise if necessary.

Do short, frequent sessions around five to ten minutes, four times a day. It is normal to feel aching, discomfort or stretching sensations when doing these exercises but intense or lasting pain of more than 30 minutes is an indication to reduce the force or frequency of your exercises

1. Pendulum

Repeat five times

  • Let your arm hang freely
  • Start with small movements
  • Swing your arm forwards and backwards

2. Shoulder blade and postural control excercises

This can be done either siting or standing. Repeat ten times, little and often during the day.

  • Keep your arms relaxed by your side
  • Square your shoulder blades ( pull them back and slightly down)
  • Do not let your back arch
  • Keep your elbows slightly to the front of your body
  • Hold for ten seconds


Avoid poor posture:


3. External rotation exercises

These are best performed in the sitting or standing position. Repeat five to ten times for the day.

  • Keep your elbows into your side
  • Move the affected arm outwards away from your body
  • This can be helped with a stick or a similar object

4. Flexion and lying

This is best performed lying on your back, on your bed or the floor.  Repeat five to ten times a day.

  • Support your operated arm with your other hand and lift your arm over your head
  • Try to get the arm all the way back above your head
  • Gradually remove the support from the other arm

5. Shoulder flexion in the standing position

This is best performed standing facing a wall.

Repeat four times a day.

  • With your elbow bent, rest your hand against the wall
  • Slide your hand up the wall, aiming to get the hand as high up the wall as possible
  • If necessary, use a household duster between your hand and the wall to make it easier


Isometric strengthening

External rotation - neutral

Set the shoulder blade in a good position. Bend the elbow to 90 degrees and place the back of the hand against the wall. Gently push out into the wall at abbout 30% of maximal effort.

You can also use a stick by gripping the handle with the thumb uppermost. Gently pull out the involved arm whilst resisting with the unaffected arm. There should be no arm movement.

Further information

If you are unsure who to contact or you have an appointment query, contact Mr Hand's secretary on 023 8120 5212 between 9am and 4pm.

If your wound changes in appearance, weeps fluid or pus or looks infected or you feel unwell with a high temperature, contact your GP urgently and ask your GP to inform the shoulder unit.

If you have a query about your exercises or movements, please contact the physiotherapy department on 023 8120 4559.

If you have a query about your outpatient appointment, please ring the outpatient booking office on 023 8120 6218.