The following diagrams show stretching exercises for people with a BPI, but they can only be performed after rehabilitation following the removal of the sling. These stretches help to prevent contractures and stiffness in the arm and shoulder joints following a period of immobility.
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, DO NOT ATTEMPT THESE EXERCISES WHILE YOUR ARM REMAINS IN THE SLING FOLLOWING SURGERY . ALWAYS CHECK WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN OR THERAPIST BEFORE STARTING ANY OF THESE EXCERCISES.
During your period of rehabilitation following any surgery, your physiotherapist or occupational therapist will show you how to perform each exercise correctly. They will also advise you on how many seconds to hold each stretch, and how many repeats of each exercise are suitable for your personal circumstances.
The therapists may even give you additional exercises and stretches which are not represented on these pages.
The excercises shoud be performed at least once a day. With each exercise, you should feel the stretch, but not pain. If you experience pain with any of these stretches, stop and refer to your physician or therapist as soon as possible
Slowly rotate your shoulder blades backwards and forwards.
Place your elbow on a solid object, for example, a thick book. Straighten your elbow over the book. Perform stretch with palm up and your palm down.
Using your other arm to help, bend your elbow as far as you can.
Rest your elbow on a table.
Using your other hand to help, turn your palm up as far as it can go.
Using your other hand to help, turn your palm down as far as you can.
Do not allow your elbow to move while you are stretching.
Push your elbow firmly into the bed. Keeping your elbow firmly anchored, push your hand out to the side.
Rest your forearm on the edge of a table to the side of you. Lean forwards
Laying down, bring your hand up above your head.
Place your hand on the table in front of you.
Lean forwards pushing your chair back.
Place your arm on a table to the side of you.
Lean away from your arm, pushing the chair away from the table
The purpose of this web site is to educate people about Brachial Plexus Injuries and help people who have these injuries with rehabilitation and other issues. The home exercise diagrams and accompanying text are intended to provide a resource for patients who have already been instructed on the exercises by a qualified health care professional.
The information presented is not intended for the purpose of self-diagnosis or self-prescription of any treatments or exercises discussed on this site. You should never rely on this information to determine a diagnosis or course of treatment. Please visit or call your physician or other qualified allied health care provider prior to performing any of the therapeutic exercises listed on this site. If you have any health care questions or concerns, please consult your physician promptly. You should never disregard the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider because of any information you read on this site.
The operators of this web site do not practice medicine or dispense medical services through this web site.
PLEASE NOTE; The contents of this page contains extracts from the information handout for patients with a BPI who have had surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore U.K.
Other institutions, particularly those outside the U.K. may have different procedures and protocols according to the type of surgery, and their own general preferences. Please refer to the hospital and the surgeon who performed your surgery for advice and information about procedures for exercising and stretching the affected arm. The information on this page is meant as a guide only, and is not to be used in place of any information provided by your own surgeon, hospital and support team.