Rehab Shoulder Instability: Phase One

Rehab Shoulder Instability: Phase One


I felt my shoulder slip out of place last week and am looking for exercises to get back some range of motion, what can I do?



Our rehab protocol for shoulder instability (dislocation and/or subluxation) is divided into four phases based on what the goal of therapy is for certain points in time during an individual’s progression with the goal of returning back to sport. The first phase of our rehab protocol is focused on initiating the healing process, managing the pain/inflammation, and starting range of motion exercises. Our favorite exercise in this phase of your rehab is Active Assisted Flexion & Abduction. Here’s how to perform this exercise:

  1. Obtain a T-bar, PVC pipe, broom stick, etc. around your house or facility
  2. Put your injured shoulder’s hand on the top of the object
  3. Put your non-injured shoulder’s hand on the length of the object towards the bottom
  4. Now push through your non-injured hand to move your injured shoulder into pain-free flexion (arm moving upwards straight in front of you)
  5. Once you have done 10 repetitions in flexion, do the same motion except for directly to your side (abduction)
  6. 10 repetitions in both directions is 1 set

Perform 2-3 sets of this every 3-4 hours to promote range of motion improvements throughout the day to speed up your recovery process.


Check out our Shoulder Instability Special Test to see if this is a rehab protocol that’s relevant to you!


Check out our next post to find out the next phase of our rehab process for Shoulder Instability!


Featured Image By: YouTube

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