Laser Spine Institute Physicians May Prescribe Shoulder Press Exercises as Part of a Postsurgical Routine
After neck or back surgery at Laser Spine Institute, patients are often given a “prescription” for exercises to complete and assist in the recovery process. One such exercise is the shoulder press – a simple, easy-to-do movement that helps strengthen the muscles in the neck and upper back.
Stronger muscles are better able to support the spine, but Laser Spine Institute physicians also recommend the shoulder press because it is an effective way to engage important postural muscles in the upper body and improve a patient’s awareness of keeping his or her chest lifted while sitting or standing. Many patients also find that the shoulder press helps reduce pain caused by a spine issue, such as a herniated or bulging disc in their neck, or spondylolisthesis in the back.
Step 1 – Preparing for the Shoulder Press
To get started, you’ll want to lie down on your back on your bed or the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. To help open up the front of your chest, turn your palms up to face the ceiling.
Step 2 – Press and Breathe
Once you’re in position, press both of your shoulders down so they make contact with the bed or floor. Inhale and relax your shoulders. Then as you exhale, press your shoulders downward into the bed or floor.
Step 3 – Check Your Alignment and Repeat
As you do your shoulder presses, take special care not to arch your lower back; the motion should come from your upper back only. Laser Spine Institute physicians typically instruct patients to repeat the motion five to 10 times to complete a full set, and to do one or two sets per day.
With time, this can help produce stronger, more flexible muscles and ligaments with a better range of motion, and may even lead to a reduction in neck or back pain.
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.