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Shoveling Shoulder Injury Exercise

Shoveling Shoulder Injury Exercise

What causes muscular injuries?

Muscular injuries are generally caused by poor body mechanics and repetitive muscle strains. For example, not bracing your back while lifting a heavy object and continuing that poor lifting posture every time you lift a heavy object will result in back pain overtime if not right away. You may be able to live with poor body mechanics for some time but eventually, the repetitive strains on your muscles and joints will cause pain and injury.

What happened here?

Shoveling the first big snowfall of the winter season aggravated a previous rotator cuff injury, specifically the supraspinatus muscle. Nils is demonstrating a simple exercise for the rotator cuff to improve and maintain range of motion in the shoulder. This exercise can be progressed to stretching arms upward without the towel but for a new injury, this simple progression is best.


How to do this exercise

  1. Start with a towel draped around the back of your neck.
  2. Relax completely and let your body slump into a relaxed posture
  3. Bring your shoulders up and back, straighten your spine and tuck your chin to have a good posture
  4. Holding the ends of the towel, align the ends of the towel so that the towel is parallel with the floor
  5. Slowly move your arms up as you also move your head and eyes upward until you feel the movement in your upper back and shoulders.

NOTE: This should not cause you any pain. If this causes you pain please contact your health care provider.

For more videos to help you with a shoulder injury recovery, click here.

Julia de Reijke RKin, CSEP-CPT, BASc Kinesiology (Hons), DipFTHP

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