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  • Lian Yun-Perng, Physiotherapist

Clinical Pearl for Shoulder Flexion

Not sure if this is a clinical pearl but it has managed to help improve Sh flexion for two of my pts. Both of them had limited post op Sh flexion . They were mainly able to lift up till about 160 degrees. Their limitation was probably caused by over- activation of their traps. It was visible that they Sh shrug or side bend their neck on the affected side when they performed Sh flexion.

Below is a picture showing the difference in ROM (Sorry for my bad photography skills)

With Resistance Band Without Resistance Band

Here's how to do the exs:

It's simple if my instructions weren't clear.

1. Wrap a resistance band over both wrist.

2. Tension it by Hor ABD your Shs or just ABD your Shs, it depends on what angle you are at.

3. Basically, you should be activating your scapula retractors and depressors(middle traps, rhomboids and lower traps etc).

4. Maintain the tension throughout range, do it slow and steady and in control.

5. The patient should find it easier to achieve end range for Sh flex and it might also relieve their end range pain if they have any.


1. I think the upper traps are partially inhibited/controlled when the scapula retractors or lower traps were activated. This is the only reasoning I could think of. Drop me a message or comment if you have any thoughts about it.

Thanks for reading.

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Lian Yun-Perng  

UK Qualified Physiotherapist
Bachelor of Physiotherapy

Keele University, United Kingdom
Diploma in Physiotherapy

AIMST University, Malaysia

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