Laser Spine Institute Physicians Recommend Shoulder Circles and Shrugs to Facilitate Overall Spinal Health as Well as Postsurgical Recovery
In the days and weeks that follow a minimally invasive spine procedure at Laser Spine Institute, patients are typically given a series of postsurgical exercises to assist in the recovery and rehabilitation process.
These exercises are extremely important because not only are they good for postsurgical needs, but they can improve overall spinal health in general.
While the specific exercises recommended vary from patient to patient, depending on the condition treated and the type of procedure performed, one commonly recommended technique is the use of shoulder circles and shrugs exercises.
These exercises are particularly effective for stretching and strengthening the shoulders and upper back muscles. As a result, shoulder circles and shrugs are often recommended to Laser Spine Institute patients who have recently received treatment for a spine disorder in the cervical spine (neck), such as a herniated or bulging disc, spinal stenosis or facet disease.
Here’s how to successfully complete your shoulder shrugs and circles:
Step 1 – Get Yourself in Position
To start this exercise, you need to be sitting comfortably in a chair. Be sure to sit in a neutral spine position where your neck isn’t flexed, your shoulders are back and your feet are flat and hip-width apart.
Your neck should have good alignment with your chest. You can also practice your abdominal bracing exercise while you are doing these exercises.
Step 2 – Shoulder Shrugs
Once you’re properly aligned, bring your shoulders up toward your ears and then drop them back down again, like you’re making an exaggerated shrug.
Next, bring your shoulders forward and then backward, squeezing your shoulder blade muscles together to the best of your ability, and then return to your starting position.
That completes one shrug exercise – bringing your shoulders up, down, forward, backward and then returning to neutral position again.
Step 3 – Shoulder Circles
The shoulder circles exercise is slightly different. This is a combination of bringing your shoulders up, forward, down, and then backward before returning to neutral position.
Step 4 – Repeat the Process
Complete shoulder circles and shrugs in sets of five to 10 motions and repeat the process one to three times a day.
As you can see, shoulder shrugs and circles are exercises that can be completed anywhere, whether you’re at home in front of the TV or at work in front of a computer. Yet, while these exercises may seem easy and not particularly strenuous, the benefits that shoulder shrugs and circles can provide to long-term spine health are immeasurable.
With that said, if you feel discomfort or are concerned that you aren’t doing things quite right, be sure to speak with the professionals at Laser Spine Institute. These exercises should facilitate recovery – not make it more difficult or painful for you.
The Laser Spine Institute Exercise Video Series, including all functional activities, post-surgical exercises and descriptions were designed specifically for Laser Spine Institute patients only. If you have not been prescribed these exercises, you should contact your physician before starting this or any exercise program. Exercise is not without its risks, and this or any other exercise program may result in injury. Risks include, but are not limited to: risk of injury, aggravation of a pre-existing condition, or adverse effect of over-exertion such as muscle strain, abnormal blood pressure, fainting and disorders of heart beat. As with any exercise program, if at any point during your workout you begin to feel faint, dizzy, or have physical discomfort, you should stop immediately and consult your surgeon's liaison or physician.