If you suffer from shoulder pain or have had shoulder surgery such as a rotator cuff repair, you may be having difficulty using your arm for everyday tasks like brushing your hair or putting on a belt. Your shoulder pain may also disrupt your sleep at night. Shoulder pain is a common problem for which your doctor may refer you to physical therapy. A physical therapist can help evaluate your situation and recommend exercises to decrease pain and increase range of motion for your shoulder. Another goal for physical therapy is to improve strength in the shoulders to increase everyday use for basic functions.

Your physical therapist may use various treatments to help with your shoulder pain. While treatments like ultrasound or electrical stimulation may feel good, exercise has been proven to be the most effective method to improve arm function if you have shoulder pain, or if you are recovering from shoulder surgery.

Over-the-door shoulder pulleys have been found to be a great option to help improve range of motion and alleviate shoulder pain. These pulleys can assist you to stretch your shoulder in various directions to improve mobility—and ultimately the function—of your shoulder. The shoulder pulley is a system that is hooked over the top of a door, with a small pulley system near the top, and a rope with handles that hangs down from the pulley.

You can use the pulleys to perform various shoulder exercises to help improve range of motion in different directions in your shoulder. Your physical therapist can instruct you in proper techniques to use the pulleys, so be sure to follow the instructions closely: aggressive range of motion exercises too soon after surgery can injure your shoulder and delay healing. If you have questions about whether shoulder range of motion exercises are safe for you, consult your doctor and physical therapist. The shoulder pulley system assists movement in a pain-free range. 

Shoulder pain can limit your ability to use your arm normally, and can prevent you from working or participating in recreational activity or the use of your shoulders and arms for everyday needs. Improving your shoulder range of motion may be a necessary component of your shoulder rehabilitation. Using over-the-door shoulder pulleys may be just the thing to get your shoulder moving and feeling normal again.

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