My friend Jason Gauvin, who is a really smart guy, shared with me a great version of the shoulder pendulum exercise for postoperative patients that may be pretty useful for everyone. Looks like a great technique, especially for those patients with early guarding and hesitation moving their arm. Check it out below.
Cradle the Baby
This exercise can be done post surgical and may replace the standard pendulum. This substitution version of the standard pendulum exercise allows the patient to control the surgical arm with the non-surgical arm; protecting the surgical repair from unnecessary stress that the standard pendulum can cause if performed incorrectly. Often patients perform the standard pendulum incorrectly by actively moving the surgical arm to swing it, rather than the appropriate passive swing of the arm through body and hip sway.
The patient is to “cradle” the surgical arm like holding a baby using the non-surgical arm. The surgical hand may grasp the upper arm of the non-surgical for security, but the non surgical arm is intended to provide all the movement of the non-surgical arm. The patient can then gently rock the arm forward and back, side to side and in circles clockwise and counter clockwise as is done with the standard pendulum exercise.
Jason J. Gauvin, PT, MS, LAT, ATC, SCS, CSCS, www.AASportsPT.com
Thanks Jason, great idea and something I will definitely be incorporating into my practice. What does everyone else think?