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Exercises for Tendinosis of the Shoulder

by
author image Aubrey Bailey
Aubrey Bailey has been writing health-related articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine. She holds a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University at Buffalo, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College. Dr. Bailey is also a certified hand therapist.
Exercises for Tendinosis of the Shoulder
Working at your computer can increase shoulder pain. Photo Credit Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images

Shoulder injuries affect every aspect of life -- from basic self-care activities to work and sports. According to a study published in 2015 by "Trials," shoulder pain is the third most common disorder that affects the musculoskeletal system. Tendinosis -- breakdown of the tendon that connects muscle to bone -- is a major cause of this pain.

It often occurs over time, like a slowly fraying rope. Exercises improve movement and strength, which are both typically affected by shoulder tendinosis.

Household items such as a golf club can be used for shoulder motion exercises.
Household items such as a golf club can be used for shoulder motion exercises. Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Range of Motion Exercises

Stiffness can develop with shoulder tendinosis. So range of motion exercises performed with help from your opposite arm are particularly valuable. Use a yardstick, broom handle, cane or lightweight golf club to perform these exercises.

Flexion

Shoulder flexion allows you to reach overhead.

Step 1

Lie on your back. Hold the stick with both hands, approximately shoulder-width apart. Rest the stick down on your hips.

Step 2

Keeping your elbows straight, slowly lift the cane up and over your head as far as possible. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then lower the stick back down to your hips.

Step 3

Repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.

Read more: What is Normal Range of Motion in the Shoulder?

Extension

Extension is movement of your arm straight behind you.

Step 1

Stand and hold the stick across your back with both hands. Keep your elbows straight throughout this exercise.

Step 2

Lift the stick away from your back as far as possible. Do not bend over. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then return to the starting position.

Step 3

Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Rotation

Rotating your shoulder inward and outward is necessary for almost every daily activity.

Step 1

Hold the stick behind your back as you did for extension. To stretch inward rotation of the left shoulder, slowly pull the stick out to the side using your right hand as far as possible, without pain. Hold this position for 2 to 3 seconds, then relax.

Step 2

Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Step 3

Hold the stick in front of you with your hands shoulder-width apart to improve outward rotation. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and keep your upper arms by your sides throughout the movement.

Step 4

To stretch the left shoulder, slowly push the stick across your body with your right hand until your left forearm is rotated outward as far as possible. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Use dumbbells to strengthen your shoulder.
Use dumbbells to strengthen your shoulder. Photo Credit MSul/iStock/Getty Images

Eccentric Strengthening Exercises

Many different types of shoulder exercise can improve strength with shoulder tendinosis. However, eccentric exercises -- sometimes known as "negatives," are particularly effective for tendinosis. Eccentric muscle contractions occur during the lowering phase of a movement. These exercises can increase strength in your damaged tendon.

Read more: Muscle-Strengthening Exercises for the Scapula & Shoulder

Eccentric Flexion and Abduction

Flexion and abduction exercises strengthen muscles that move your arm straight up in front of you and out to your side. You will need a small dumbbell for these exercises.

Step 1

Stand up straight holding the dumbbell in your hand. Bend your elbow and press the dumbbell straight up overhead. Your elbow should be straight at the top of the movement.

Step 2

Keeping your elbow straight, perform eccentric shoulder flexion by slowly lower the weight straight down in front of you until your arm is at your side. Repeat 10 times and work up to three sets in a row.

Step 3

Perform eccentric shoulder abduction using the same starting position -- dumbbell pressed overhead.

Step 4

Keeping your elbow straight, slowly lower your arm out to the side until it is next to your body. Repeat this movement 10 times, working up to three sets.

Eccentric Rotation

Hold your dumbbell and lie on a firm surface to perform eccentric rotation.

Step 1

Holding the dumbbell, lie down and move your arm out to the side to shoulder-height. Bend your elbow to 90 degrees so that your hand is pointed toward the ceiling.

Step 2

Begin with eccentric outward rotation. Slowly lower the front of your forearm down to the surface you are lying on. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times, working up to three sets in a row.

Step 3

Next, perform eccentric inward rotation. From the same starting position, slowly lower the back of your forearm down to the surface you are lying on. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times. Work up to three sets in a row.

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