Best Exercises for Subacromial Pain Syndrome
As mentioned in our previous blog treatment for Subacromial Pain Syndrome (SAPS) can be multi-faceted. However, the most important intervention for a long term improvement will always be exercise therapy. The best exercises for Subacromial Pain Syndrome can make a huge difference. In fact, we know the long term effects of good rehab can be as effective, if not better, than having surgery!
Exercise and rehabilitation
The shoulder complex relies upon 33 muscles working in-sync across 5 joints to give us an incredible range of motion to perform a variety of daily tasks. Often due to SAPS these muscles become slow and weak, predisposing the rotator cuff tendons and shoulder joint to unwanted pressures.
Rehab should aim to progressively restore load to the tendons and regain stability around the shoulder joints in preparation for a return to the activities of everyday life and sports.
Best exercises for Subacromial pain syndrome
The following SAPS exercises are based on a gold-standard, evidence-based approach. To give you a taster we have started with what we call Level 1 rehab exercises. Aimed at isolating and activating the right muscles in order to build the foundations for the next steps. Read here for more information on our exercise philosophy and 3 Levels of rehab.
We suggest only doing 2 of the exercises at a time – ideally which ever 2 you find the most useful in reducing your pain.
It is important to note that when tendons are involved, some levels of pain can be expected as part of improving their loading thresholds. Read our ‘Pain | Rest Or Move’ blog to understand what levels are acceptable when exercising.
*If you experience any excessive pain, beyond that advised, during or after each exercise then stop immediately and consult a Physiotherapist*
Subacromial Pain Syndrome Exercises
Isometric Lateral Rotation
How long until I’m better?
Honestly, months! Unfortunately, progression with SAPS rehab is commonly a slow process. That’s because regaining muscle strength physiologically takes times. In the first 3 weeks of exercising you will ‘feel’ yourself getting stronger. This is the nerve signals from your brain to the muscles getting quicker. You will then ‘see’ your strength and control improving after 6 weeks. That’s the muscles getting bigger in size. It then takes up to 12-16 weeks for this improvement to consolidate.
3 weeks to feel it!
6 weeks to see it!
12 weeks to keep it!
Classically a 5-10% improvement month by month is normal. So stick with it!
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