One of the questions we get the most is, “How do I rehab myself?” In other words, “How will I know when to rest and when to rehab… How much rehab should I do every day… Which exercises or techniques should I do and when… Should I do all of the exercises or just some of them… Which exercises should I do?” These are great questions and the best answer is… it’s different for everyone, because everyone has a different kind kind of injury.
Here’s the secret: Let pain be your guide. It will tell you when something is not ready for movement or a specific range of motion. If you feel pain, then your body is telling you to back off. If your shoulder is painful any time you move it, then don’t do any kind of movement yet. Fortunately, there are plenty of other super important rehab techniques you can do to get great results as your body starts to heal.
That is exactly what I’ve been doing. My shoulder is basically frozen right now. I have a tiny range of motion before my shoulder starts to hurt and I have to back off. In fact, I feel shooting pain in my shoulder a bunch of times a day if it just moves wrong accidentally (i.e. a sneeze, hitting it by accident, etc). So, I’m being extremely careful all day long and doing my best to get comfortable and protect my shoulder when I sleep.
In the beginning, you have to learn to move much slower, so you don’t injure yourself further. I’ve had to learn to do everything with my left arm and basically just leave my right arm at my side at all times. If I forget, my body gives me a painful reminder immediately. It’s a huge adjustment!
So, I’m focusing on other non-movement rehab techniques that feel great! And the good news is that every day, I’m noticing a pretty good improvement in my range of motion. But, it’s hard. I have to be incredibly patient. It’s healing fast, but not as fast as I want. And every day, I have to baby it and make sure I don’t hurt it any further.
So, this is the healing process… you protect it, watch it, push it gently, then back off. And if you’re doing rehab correctly, every day, it shoulder improve a little bit, allowing you to do a little bit more the next day.
As you can see in the video, right now, I can barely move my right arm over my head. It’s weak and painful. I’m working it a little bit, but the rest of the day, I let it rest. I do concentrated shoulder rehab, then back off.
Then, the next day, I come back and start again. I test my range of motion. I do non-movement rehab techniques for the shoulder that help with the pain and support the healing process. Then, if it feels okay, I’ll test it a little bit with shoulder rehab. Then, the rest of the day, I rest it.
So, the key is to go slowly and gently and take it day by day… Let your body be your guide. This applies to shoulder rehab and every other kind of rehab too. If you follow this simple principle, you will always get the best possible results with your rehab.