Sternoclavicular Joint Separation: Rehab Exercises

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of typical rehabilitation exercises for your condition. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physiotherapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Neck rotation

Picture of how to do neck rotation exercises
slide 1 of 7
slide 1 of 7, Neck rotation,
  1. Sit in a firm chair, or stand up straight.
  2. Keeping your chin level, turn your head to the right, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Turn your head to the left, and hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times to each side.

Shoulder rolls

Picture of how to do shoulder rolls
slide 2 of 7
slide 2 of 7, Shoulder rolls,
  1. Sit comfortably with your feet shoulder-width apart. You can also do this exercise while standing.
  2. Roll your shoulders up, then back, and then down in a smooth, circular motion.
  3. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Neck stretches

Picture of how to do neck stretches
slide 3 of 7
slide 3 of 7, Neck stretches,
  1. Look straight ahead, and tip your right ear to your right shoulder. Do not let your left shoulder rise as you tip your head to the right.
  2. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  3. Tilt your head to the left. Do not let your right shoulder rise as you tip your head to the left.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times to each side.

Shoulder blade squeeze

Picture of how to do shoulder blade squeeze
slide 4 of 7
slide 4 of 7, Shoulder blade squeeze,
  1. While standing with your arms at your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Do not raise your shoulders as you are squeezing.
  2. Hold 6 seconds.
  3. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Shoulder flexion (lying down)

Picture of how to do shoulder flexion while lying down
slide 5 of 7
slide 5 of 7, Shoulder flexion (lying down),

Note: For this and the following exercises, you will need a wand. To make a wand, use a piece of PVC pipe or a broom handle with the broom removed. Make the wand about 30 centimetres wider than your shoulders.

  1. Lie on your back, holding a wand with your hands. Your palms should face down as you hold the wand. Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.
  2. Keeping your elbows straight, slowly raise your arms over your head until you feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and chest.
  3. Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
  4. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Shoulder extension (standing)

Picture of how to do shoulder extension exercise while standing
slide 6 of 7
slide 6 of 7, Shoulder extension (standing),
  1. Stand, and hold a wand in both hands behind your back. Place your hands wide enough apart on the wand so it is comfortable, about the same width as your shoulders. Your palms should face away from your body.
  2. Move the wand back away from your body. Go as far as possible without pain.
  3. Hold the stretch for about 6 seconds.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.

Goal post stretch

Picture of how to do goal post stretch exercise
slide 7 of 7
slide 7 of 7, Goal post stretch,
  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Hold a wand in your hands with your palms facing your knees. Rest your elbows on the floor, holding your hands about shoulder-width apart with the wand above your chest.
  3. Move the wand back over your head as far as possible without pain. If you can, rest the wand on the floor as you hold the stretch.
  4. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2 to 4 times.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter S294 in the search box to learn more about "Sternoclavicular Joint Separation: Rehab Exercises".

Current as of: March 21, 2017