UPPER EXTREMITY STRETCHES

UPPER EXTREMITY STRETCHES

SHOULDER / ROTATOR CUFF

SUPERFICIAL CHEST & FRONT SHOULDER

DEEP SHOULDER AND BICEP

When we start talking about the stretches for the upper extremities, we are going to cover a lot of ground.  The stretches for the areas of the upper extremity that we treat with SCAR TISSUE REMODELING are going to follow a very specific schedule.  You are going to hold each prescribed stretch for approximately 15 seconds.  You are going to run through the prescribed stretches at least two times every time you stretch (or 1-2 minutes total stretch time).  You are going to do your stretches every waking half hour for the first three days, and then every hour for the next week after that.  If anything causes discomfort or a physical problem, please stop stretching and CONTACT ME immediately.  Remember, it is not critical to do each and every stretch on this page; just the ones that I prescribed for you. If you have others that you “feel” better than what I gave you, that’s OK as well.  Also be aware that because some of the muscles being stretched cross two or more joints, there may be a bit of overlap in the stretching protocols.

  • SHOULDER STRETCHES
  • CHEST STRETCHES
  • ELBOW STRETCHES
  • WRIST STRETCHES
  • FOREARM STRETCHES
  • STRETCHES FOR BICEPS TENDINOSIS
  • STRETCHES FOR TRICEP TENDINOSIS
  • DeQUERVAIN’S SYNDROME STRETCHES

STRETCH FOR RIBS AND UNDERARM (LAT) AREAS

SHOULDER AND CHEST STRETCHES

STRETCH FOR BACK SIDE OF THE SHOULDER

LEFT:  This is slightly different than the UPPER BACK STRETCH.  Simply take the elbow and pull the arm around towards the front of the body.  I would suggest that you change the angle some.  In other words, do some of the stretches with the elbow higher than shown and some with the elbow lower than shown.

RIGHT:  The same stretch is used for stretching the bicep muscle, the chest, the front of the shoulder, and to some degree, the elbow and the palm side of the forearm.  I would suggest that you do this in a doorway as it is easier to hold onto than a bare wall.  And like the stretch on the left, I would also change the angle of stretching.  In other words, do some of the stretches with the hand up higher than is shown and some of the stretches with the hand lower than what is shown.

CHEST, BICEP, AND FRONT SHOULDER STRETCH

WRIST / FOREARM / THUMB STRETCHES

There are all sorts of ways to stretch your forearms.  Although I have only chosen to show two of them, another easy stretch is to simply put the palms of your hands together in the same fashion a child would pray.  Now drop your hands down toward your waist while keeping the palms together.  You can also put the backs of your hands together with your thumbs facing downward.  While keeping them together, move them upward toward your chest.  By the way, the stretches for the forearm are the same stretches used for the wrist.

The stretch on the far right is for Thumb Extensor Tendinosis (aka DeQUERVAIN’S SYNDROME).  The standard Orthopedic Test for DeQuervain’s Syndrome is called Finklestein’s Test or Finklestein’s Maneuver.  Although it is difficult to tell from the picture, she is actually pulling on her thumb.  In other words, grasp your thumb as shown in the picture, and pull the thumb downward as though you were casting a fishing pole. 

ANTERIOR (FRONT) FOREARM STRETCHES

POSTERIOR (BACK) FOREARM STRETCHES

DeQUERVAIN’S SYNDROME STRETCH

ELBOW STRETCH

Picture

I’ll admit it.  This is an odd stretch — a really odd stretch.  I realize that I did not invent this stretch, but I have never seen anyone else do it or prescribe it.  Although the stretch above (right) is primarily a chest / front shoulder / bicep stretch, it is also good for the elbow.  However, I felt that it was not good enough for the many people I see with LATERAL EPICONDYLITIS (Tennis Elbow / Elbow Tendinitis / Elbow Tendinosis).  Although stretch above works well for MEDIAL EPICONDYLITIS (Golfer’s Elbow / Elbow Tendinitis / Elbow Tendinosis), I had to figure out a better stretch for the lateral elbow and this is what I came up with.  WARNING:  Some of you will not be able to do this stretch at all, and some of you will have to modify it quite a bit.  This is OK.  Do not hurt your shoulder doing this stretch, as it takes a fair bit of shoulder flexibility to perform properly!

DIRECTIONS:  Stand facing away from the wall with your hands at your side, palms facing back towards the wall.  Now reach back and place the back of your hand on the wall.  Scoot the back of your hand slowly upward on the wall until you feel the part of your elbow I treated begin to stretch.  Unless you are crazy flexible, your arm will not go straight up while in this position, and will most likely end up similar to the picture (or significantly less).  Again, do not overstretch to the point where you hurt your shoulder!


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