Shoulder Arthritis Stretches & Exercises – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you some exercises and stretches for shoulder arthritis. Let’s get started. So the first set of exercises are going to be your pendulum exercises. These are the ones where you just let
your arm hanging straight down. Remember your arm is not actively moving, you’re
moving your body to make your arm go. So if you are doing this, that’s not exactly the exercise. Really
just let your arm hang down and you’re going to move the whole body to make the
arm swing. So making circles, just do 10 one way, and then reverse it and do ten
the other way. They’re not to be big circles because you’re not actively
moving the arm, you’re just kind of letting it hang there and go around. Then
kind of stagger your feet a little bit. Now your arm is going to go front to
back, but again just let it hang there and then just kind of rock back and
forth. And this is just loosening up that shoulder joint. If you have that
information and arthritis in there, this will kind of help get some of that
out of there before you really start working in. Again ten about ten going
that way, and then you’re going to do a side-to-side. So spread your feet out
past shoulder width, let it hang down, and then just side-to-side rocking with your arm
going back and forth and again about 10 of those as well. Once you get it nice
and loosen up, then you’re going to do some strengthening exercises. You can do
this with a resistive band, I’m going to show you how to do it with a weight you
can use a soup a vegetable can, anything like that a 1 to 2 pound weight.
You probably don’t want to start off with anything much heavier than that
until you’ve tried it and see how it feels. So the first one with the weight
is just going to be a shoulder flexion. You want your thumb to be up on top in
the up position. If you had a weight, I usually have people actually hold their
thumb on top of the weight because it’s easier to hold, but just make sure if
you’re holding a can you can’t quite grab it like that, make sure your hand is that upward position, and then just bring
it straight up to about 90 degrees. It doesn’t have to be exact and then slowly
come back down. So just kind of working the shoulder flexion muscles and then
make sure it’s nice and control coming back down. So just start off with about
10 of those and then if that becomes easy you can kind of work your way up to
20 – 25, and then that’s still easy you can get to have your weight or a stronger
resistance band. Then you’re going to do shoulder extension going back behind you. So you’re still keeping that thumb in
the up forward position, and arms still straight locked out, but you’re not going
to go back to 90 degrees, that’d be pretty hard without bending over but
maybe about 45 degrees just as far as you can go comfortably. This is sometimes
a little harder for people. So just back to about there might not even be 45
degrees, and then slowly come back. So whatever is comfortable for you, but try
and keep that arm straight if you can, and again starting off with 10 of those
and then working your way up from there. And then the next one with the weight is
going to be what we call scaption & scaption is not quite although in the
front and not quite all the way out to the side, but it’s about a 45 degree
angle in between. And so you know you’re not here, you’re not here, you’re right at
that angle there, but still keeping that arm nice and straight, keeping that thumb
in the upward position, and going about to that 90 degrees high. And so that’s
usually the most comfortable position for people because it’s a nice open area
in that joint, and again starting with just 10, and kind of working your way up from there. Now we’re gonna get down on
the ground a little bit. So now you’re just going to do some shoulder shrugs.
Bringing your shoulders straight up, not huntching your shoulder down, but bringing
those shoulders up. Just like you’re like “I don’t know,” and just getting the moving,
stretching those shoulder and neck muscles out. So again just start off with
about 10 of them, and then you can work your way up from there. After that you’re going to go into
shoulder circles. So now you’re actually getting some movement all the way around.
So nice big movements with the shoulders, really squeeze it around when you go to
the back. Do 10 one way and then reverse it the other way. So you can kind of use
your whole arms for this really to get those those circles and get that
movement that that’s really nice in there and that helps kind of loosen
everything up. And then after you do those, then you go into a row with the
resistive band if you have one. Just wrap it around your feet, keep your elbows
close to your side with your thumbs up again, and when you squeeze back, you
really want to imagine that someone has their hand on your spine and you’re
trying to take those shoulder blades and squeeze the hand, but make sure you’re
not up like this squeezing, you’re really keeping your shoulders down while you’re
squeezing that. Squeeze like you’re trying to squeeze that hand in the
middle and nice and controlled as you do it. Keeping those elbows close, so it’s not
out this way, but nice and close to your side, and make sure you’re controlling
that band while you’re doing it. So again just start off with about 10 of these,
and you can work your way up to 20 – 25. If that becomes easy then you can get a
stronger resistance band. Now I’m gonna show you a stretch with the Swiss ball. Alright if you don’t have a Swiss ball,
that’s okay, you can use a countertop or flat surface. I like using the Swiss ball
because I feel like you can push it a little bit more and also gives a little
bit of wiggle, so you’re working on that stability as well. Also with these keep the thumb up, I
like that because it puts that shoulder in an open position, and your shoulders
not getting impinge while you’re doing it. It’s usually just a little more
comfortable. So uh hands up top thumbs up on top, and then just roll out, and again
if you’ve got artiritis in that shoulder, you might not be able to go that far. I actually do have some arthritis in my
shoulders unfortunately, but I can I got pretty good motion because i work on it
every day. So just kind of a push-out, hold it about three to five seconds, and
come back in. If this isn’t quite enough, you can do one hand at a time, and
usually you can stretch a little bit more with one hand, and then coming back
in. And I really like that. And you can also go at angles as well. So if you
wanted to go out into that scaption stretch you could, or if you want to put
it out to the side you could stretch out that way too. So you can kind of go this
way, then and then you’re stretching that as well as your PEC muscles just a
little bit. So there you have it, those were your stretches and exercises
for shoulder arthritis. If you have any questions, leave them the comments section. If you’d like to check out some other videos go to
askdoctorjo.com Remember be safe, have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.

Joseph Wolf


  1. Thank you belle Dr.Jo u are great n super shape body👏✌💛have a great day🌞

  2. Thanks Doctor Jo, I was injured at work last year ( August 2015) actually it was hurting before that going back to 2014, and in April of 2015, started going to therapy at a hospital, but that didn't help and the therapists felt that I had a tear, long story short, I had an MRI and was diagnosed by a shoulder surgeon that I needed surgery so went and had that done in August. They found a tear in my rotator cuff and that my labrum was shredded ( not torn, but shredded?) and I had a huge bone spur and that they said I had sever arthritis. Not sure why or how, but I was an avid weight lifter and my job is construction and I do a lot of over head work. Anyways, I'm in constant pain now, and my arm feels worse than it did before the surgery. The doctors are saying it's because of the arthritis, but it never hurt like this before the surgery and i was still lifting some heavy weights even when it was supposedly torn. I've seen my doctors and the next recommendation is to have a complete shoulder repair, which I'm not to keen on. I will start some of these types of stretches and believe me I really stopped any other therapy and all weight training back in April, but I did the therapy the staff told me to do, but my arm is in terrible pain all the time. What else can I do or take to alleviate this pain?

  3. Hey Doctor Jo, I have osteoarthritis with limited range of motion with mainly external rotation and abduction as well as flexion. Is it possible to restore range of motion with osteoarthritis; I also have narrowing of the joint space and a bone spur off the glenoid. Any help would be greatly appreciated thanks!

  4. Hi Jo, great video. I was wondering how often to do this routine. Daily or every second day? Thanks Tony

  5. Hi. Great video. Its one thing to explain something and yet another to explain and demonstrate it well. Also while demonstrating to point out what not to do. Your video does a superb job. I do have a question if I may. Im 58 and in decent shape having made a decision in 2012 to loose wight and eat well.( lost 58 lbs). I have an arthritic shoulder however. My wife and I going are thinking about starting yoga. I was wondering if you think yoga can be done successfully at home (if care is taken) without going to a formal class? Are there any books or other resources you could recommend? Thanks. Keith and Kathy L.

  6. Hey doctor jo. I have rheumatoid arthritis. And have started experiencing excruciating pain on my left shoulder. Should I follow the steps here ?

  7. I add this to my group of exercisers. I got severe osterporis. Had hip replacement June 28 cause of bone death, avascular necrosis, so scared it can go to o5her parts of my body. Trying to change diet n drink more water. What helps with kyposis ma'am.? Thank you

  8. Hi doctor , I want Exercising With Rheumatoid Arthritis to lose weight , can you help me ? Thanks.

  9. I have osteoarthritis. My right shoulder gives me a lot of pain. Do you have a site where you do the whole set of exercises with the us. I think I would be a lot easy to do it with you instead of stopping the tape with each exercise. Where can I find your answer? Thank in advance for your response.


  11. I don't have arthritis, but I am an L.M.T. So im learning your stretching and exercises to help recommendations for a client of mine. I decided to give this a try myself and I was surprised about the Improvement of range of motion in my shoulders. I'll be definitely watching more of your videos. Thanks so much🙂

  12. Hi dr. Jo
    My doctor diagnosed I’ve arthritis in my right shoulder. Which is in early stage.
    Could you please suggest me some exercises.

  13. Hi, doctor Jo. Thank you for your video.
    Is it necessary to use single hand to perform what you do from 0:34–1:28 in your video?
    Can we use both hands to perform them? Thank you.

  14. Hi! Im a boxer who just got diagnosed arthritis on my right shoulder. It is very difficult for me to throw the right hook. But I will start with this from now on daily basis, I will do a five minutes session plus cold water shower and acupuncture. I pray to God it helps because I love boxing. I know arthritis is for life but if I can use my shoulder just 40 or 50 % better Im happy.

  15. My left shoulder already have got arthritis and now the right one is suffering from that disease. So,what should i do? Please help me!

  16. Hi Dr. Jo,
    I have extreme arthritis in my right shoulder. I would like to avoid getting a shoulder replacement by stretching and exercising instead. I can't get on the ground due to cerebral palsy. Do you have an alternate exercise to the one you demonstrate in the video using the resistance band? Thanks for any help you can provide!

  17. Purchase a printable worksheet featuring the Shoulder Arthritis Stretches & Exercises in this video here: https://www.askdoctorjo.com/purchase-shoulder-arthritis-stretches-exercises-worksheet
    ⭐⭐ Leaving a Question or Comment? ⭐⭐
    If you want me to reply, make sure you hit the 🔴 SUBSCRIBE 🔴 button above first (if you haven’t already) because I always respond to my subscribers!

  18. I am suffering from arthritis in both shoulders and it seems to go from one shoulder to the other. Right now my left shoulder is in extreme pain. I can barely move it. Driving is hard and daily activities are impossible

  19. Hi Doctor Jo….. My sister is having the problem of rheumatoid arthritis, but according to DEXA report, Doctors are saying for arthoplasty of shoulder. May I save my sis of this operation. Pls tell me a good suggestion. She is taking the treatment from AIIMS, New Delhi.
    According to DEXA…..
    I'll wait of you revert

  20. My shoulder will just lock….I will wake up and cant move arm in so much pain…I get this on both sides..the dr says it a flare-up…for the most part I can not do anything once this happens….so thank you for sharing….I will start doing these to hopefully stop the locking up…..thanks for caring and sharing.

  21. Excellent.
    I'm a long haul truck driver and lately my left shoulder started to get extremely painful when it's cold outside.

    Not sure what to do.

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