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How does the wall-slides exercise help ease shoulder pain?

Rick Olderman
Physical Therapy
The wall-slides exercise uses gravity for resistance and is therefore considered a strengthening exercise to some degree. This exercise is important to teach the shoulder blade and arm to move together in proper sequence during overhead motions.
Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

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Fixing You: Shoulder & Elbow Pain: Self-treatment for rotator cuff strain, shoulder impingement, tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, and other diagnoses.

The shoulders are a floating system on the trunk, held in place and moved by muscular control. The foundation of shoulder movement is the shoulder blade which has precise resting and moving...

The wall-slides exercise is designed to strengthen the middle and upper trapezius as well as realign normal biomechanical motion of the shoulder girdle. To perform this exercise stand do the following:

Preparation:

  1. Stand flat against the wall
  2. Place elbows and pinky side of hand against the wall
  3. draw-in the abdominals and stabilize core

Movement:

  1. While keeping hands and elbows against the wall, raise your arms overhead
  2. Be sure to keep your back flat
  3. As your arms pass shoulder height engage the upper trapezius to slightly shrug the shoulders
  4. Hold the top position for approximately 10 seconds and slowly return to the start position
Repeat the exercise for 8-15 repetitions

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.