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Shoulder and Upper Limb

As we often work alongside athletes, the chiros at Biotune treat pain in the shoulder and arm every day. These injuries often involve not only the shoulder and joints of the upper limb, but the soft tissue structures, so it’s important to address both.

The list of upper limb injuries can range from hand pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain and anything in between. Whether it be a long term or new injury, we can find the cause of your pain and either provide treatment or refer you for appropriate imaging.

Below are some common shoulder and upper limb stretches that you might find useful.


Stage 1 – Range of Motion

Stage 1 is typically while you are in acute pain. The aim is to stretch tight muscles and improve your range of motion.

A heat pack may be used to relieve muscle ache (as often as you like).

Do these prescribed stretches every hour holding each stretch for 5 deep breaths.

Exercise 1

Perform stretches for the biceps.

Exercise 2

Perform stretches for the supraspinatus.

Exercise 3

Perform stretches for the infraspinatus and teres.

Exercise 4

Perform stretches for the subscapulars.

Exercise 5

Traction your shoulder (this is done once per day for 10-15 minutes)

Stay Mobile (gently!)

If you stay still for too long muscles cease up! Move your arm gently for 2 minutes every 30-60 minutes.

Stage 2 – Stabilisation

Stage 2 is aimed at stabilisation. PLEASE only progress through these exercises when your Chiropractor has assessed you.

Continue with Stage 1 stretches 1 to 2 times per day. Add in the following:

Exercise 1

Body blade (or tubing exercises) for the Rotator Cuff.

Body Blade


Exercise 2

Traction your shoulder (this is done once per day for 10-15 minutes)

Exercise 3

Scapular Push-ups (build to 2 sets of 20) for the Anterior Scalenes.

Exercise 4

Scapular Pull ups (build to 3 sets of 5).
Awaiting video.

Stage 3 – Strength and Conditioning

Congratulations! When you have arrived at this point you have achieved a lot. You can do any of these strength and conditioning exercises in any order (all done 3-5 times per week).

Exercise 1

Pull downs for the mid back
(using a theraband – 3 sets of 15)

Exercise 2

(using a theraband or on machine – 3 sets 15)

Exercise 3

Y and T-Pulls (3 sets of 10).

Exercise 4

Fish Sizing (3 sets of 10).
Awaiting video.

Exercise 5

Pull ups (3 sets of 10).
Awaiting video.

Exercise 6

Scapular push ups (3 sets of 10)

Exercise 6 #2

Continue with the body blade for the Rotator Cuff

Stage 4: Maintenance

This is ongoing and to be completed at least 2-3 time a week to maintain optimal health.

Action 1

Join a Pilates, Yoga or Tai Chi class. Get a personal trainer. Join in a sport you enjoy but DO SOMETHING active that will engage a range of muscles and keep your body moving!

Action 2

Reduce causing factors.

Action 3

Get regular check-ups with your chiropractor to make sure your biomechanics are working well.

* The stretches and exercises on this page are a general guide for common complaints. To get specific advice on which exercises would suite you best it is always recommended to see your chiropractor. Any of our exercises are done at your own risk and any exercise that causes discomfort should be stopped immediately.