Post Mastectomy Shoulder Exercises – Dont Get a Frozen Shoulder!

My frozen shoulder has brought me to physical therapy, (or torture whichever you prefer :) but it does bring good results).  The following are suggested exercises for getting your arm working after having mastectomy.  A very important thing to do, so you avoid frozen shoulder which is what I am dealing with now!  These are easy, do them very slowly and follow the instructions as best you can.  The whole key here is to get moving.  I can proudly announce today that I am back in my pre-surgery size 14 jeans comfortably and loving it.

Exercise #1:  Lift both your arms to equal height (however high the weakest one will go) and wave bye bye with wrist movement as you lift the arm.   This really is effective after a few days for improving movement.  My arm still however will not go up!

Exercise #2:  Lie on your back with arm at your side relaxed.  Grasp wrist with opposite hand.  Use the opposite arm to help lift the arm straight up over your head as far as possible keeping elbow straight.  Hold five seconds.  Assist the arm back to the side in the same manner.  Begin with five repetitions and work up to ten.  Perform 2 times a day.

Exercise #3:  Shoulder circles.  With a slow smooth motion, move both shoulders at the same time making as large a circle as possible.  The shoulders should go as far up, back and down as possible. DO NOT do forward rolls.  Begin with 10 repetitions and work up.  Twice a day is optimum.

Exercise #4:  Lean on the edge of a table with uninvolved arm and allow the involved arm to hang freely.  Let hanging arm swing lossely forward, backward and side to side, and in a circle, both clockwise and counter clockwise.  Repeat 10 times twice daily.  This exercise has shown the most return I think and is so easy. I lean on the sofa arm while standing, I do it outdoors when I walk the dog and when I am just standing!

Exercise #5:  Isometric Retraction:  Start by standing with your back to a wall, hips and shoulders lightly touching and feet a few inches out from the wall.  Arms are slightly out from the sides with palms forward.  Press the backs of your hands against the wall.  Hold 5 seconds.  Slowly release.  Repeat 10 times as able.  Twice a day

Exercise #6  Wall Push Up:  Stand facing the wall with arms fully extended and hands on the wall BELOW shoulder height.  Lower body towards the wall by bending elbos in a controlled manner.  Maintain neutral spine (relax)  Keep upper shoulders relaxed.  Return to starting position, and repeat with 10 repetitions and work up to 30.  This one is hard!!

The following exercises are done with a tubing, a thin spaghetti like flexible band!    These are for week three and beyond.

Exercise #7  Stand facing the door holding tubing in hands with elbows straight. Keep shoulders back and down and pull in the abdominal muscles.  Pull tubing toward waist keeping palms facing each other.  Hold 1 second.  Slowly return to starting position.  Begin with 10 and work up to 30 reps!  Perform this once a day!

Exercise #8:  Stand with hands shoulder width apart and elbows bent at side to 90 degree angle.  You can put a towel rolled slightly under the effected arm on the inside of the elbow.  Begin with the elastic held at  slight tension.  Tighten abdominal muscles and squeeze shoulder blades down and back.  Pull the elastic apart keeping elbows at sides and wrists in neutral position.  Begin with 5 reps and work up to 10.  Do this twice a day.

An easy exercise to do when going out (like sitting in a movie) is to begin by sitting in a chair.  Bend your elbows and keep them tucked in at your sides.  Press elbows back into the chair back.  Hold five seconds and release.  Repeat up to 10 reps.  This is fun and you can even do it while you are out at dinner and nobody will know you are exercising!  Lots of benefits to that, therapy continues anywhere!

Anyone can do these exercises to strengthen their body.  The weakest surgery patient can start them gently and early.  Well I better say goodbye for today, and go do my exercises too! Have a great day and a Healthy Life!



About Bonnie

Breast Cancer survivor owned by one old Shelty and a 3 pound Yorkie named Mimzy!
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