Up-the-Back Stretch for the Shoulder

Your doctor or physiotherapist may advise you to wait to do this stretch until you have regained most of your range of motion and strength. You can do this stretch in different ways. Hold any of these stretches for at least 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat 2 to 4 times.

  • Light stretch: Put your hand in your back pocket, and let it rest there to stretch your shoulder.
  • Moderate stretch: With your opposite hand, hold your affected arm (palm outward) behind your back by the wrist. Pull your arm up gently to stretch your shoulder.
  • Advanced stretch: Put a towel over your opposite shoulder. Put the hand of your injured arm behind your back and hold the back end of the towel. With the other hand, hold the front end of the towel in front of your body. Pull gently on the front end of the towel to gently bring your hand farther up your back to stretch your shoulder.

Current as of: June 26, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Timothy Bhattacharyya MD - Orthopaedic Surgery, Orthopaedic Trauma

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
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