Either due to the pain of inflammation, the destruction of the joints or the habituation of compensation, you may have difficulty bringing your arms up over your head.
This is a vital movement to maintain. When you lose the ability to reach up, you impact a number of daily living activities: getting dressed, cleaning or getting something out of a cupboard becomes an exercise that is painful or impossible. It's been years since I've been in that situation and it's not something I will ever forget.
Your shower stall is great place to restore muscle memory and increase your range of motion (ROM). As you luxuriate in the warm spray of the water as it cascades over you, you can take advantage of this time to add to your self-care routine.
Always check with your health care professional when performing new exercises.
Shower Time Exercise:
- Stand about feet distance away from the wall you're going to use.
- Bring one soapy hand up to touch the wall. Start at whatever height is comfortable for you.
- Be sure to stabilize your core as you go through the exercise.
- Slowly slide your hand up the wall.
- Develop an awareness of the muscles you are recruiting as you perform this action.
- Pause when you notice restrictions. Imagine sending healing breaths into those tight areas. Take your time and gradually increase the number of repetitions.
- Repeat on the other arm.