Dead Arm Syndrome Exercises And Symptoms

Dead Arm Syndrome Exercises are an important thing for treatment. In people with dead arm syndrome, the shoulder ball shifts forward and impinges upon structures in front of the shoulder joint. This impingement causes pain and the inability to throw or catch a ball. This syndrome is often misdiagnosed as a different type of shoulder pathology but is usually present in young adults who are physically active. In addition, it is characterized by a history of forceful overextension of the shoulder joint, a positive apprehension test with relocation, which can be performed in a standing or lying position.

Dead Arm Syndrome: SLAP Lesion

The symptoms of SLAP lesions vary from asymptomatic to disabling. Patients report a deep, nonspecific pain in their shoulder that limits athletic performance. Patients may experience pain with flexion or decompression, weakness, or stiffness. Biceps tendon injuries may also cause a SLAP lesion. The Biceps Load II test is highly sensitive and specific for SLAP lesions.

Once diagnosed, patients with SLAP lesions should undergo rehabilitation exercises under the supervision of a physical therapist. This is vital because the proper technique is key to effective treatment. Additionally, knowledge of safe exercise progression is crucial to avoid further injury. The standardized SLAP protocol for the recovery of the shoulder includes exercises proven to be effective and safe. It also offers patients a roadmap for the rehabilitation process. This will minimize the risk of further injury, allowing patients to make progress.


The infraspinatus is one of four muscles that make up the rotator cuff. These muscles play a vital role in shoulder movement, including external rotation. This thick, triangular muscle is attached to the top of the upper arm bone and shoulder blade. When inflamed, it may cause pain or weakness in the affected shoulder. The condition can occur in both genders and can be a sign of a broader musculoskeletal problem.

Causes of “Dead Arm” vary but are commonly associated with the rotator cuff and the labrum. Other potential causes of the syndrome include instability of the shoulder, bone spurs in the acromion, impingement of the shoulder ligaments, and internal impingement of the labrum. Psychological factors may also contribute to the symptoms. Ultimately, the condition may result in pain and limited ability to perform normal tasks.

Dead Arm Syndrome

Teres Minor

In addition to the symptoms of Teres minor dead arm syndrome, the patient may also develop quadrilateral space syndrome. This syndrome is the result of chronic compression of the axillary nerve by the teres minor muscle and the posterior humeral circumflex artery. If left untreated, this condition can lead to complete denervation of the deltoid and teres minor muscles. If the shoulder abducts externally in a rotated position, it is likely to worsen this condition.

The causes of dead arm syndrome are multifaceted and can include rotator cuff injury or impingement of the shoulder’s tendons. In rare cases, other conditions can cause this condition, including instability of the shoulder joint, posterior capsular contracture, calcification of the ball and socket joint, or bone spurs in the acromion. Impingement of the shoulder ligaments or SLAP injury may also cause dead arm syndrome. Even psychological factors may contribute to the development of the condition.


The glenohumeral joint is a complex structure composed of a fibrous capsule, ligaments, and the glenoid labrum. These three tissues form the stability of the joint. The labrum and serrations help rotate and pull back the shoulder blade. These muscles, as well as the subscapularis musculature, help stabilize the shoulder. Fortunately, there is a treatment for dead arm syndrome that includes rehabilitating the shoulder and restoring its stability.

Treatment for dead arm syndrome consists of strengthening exercises that target the entire kinetic chain. This strengthening program should last between three and four months and incorporate exercises to strengthen the subscapularis. If left untreated, dead arm syndrome may progress to a full clinical picture of posterosuperior impingement and eventually require surgical intervention. To treat this condition, a physician should first determine the cause of the symptoms and then prescribe a strengthening program to address the underlying conditions.

Pain During Throwing Motion

Sharp, stabbing pain during the throwing motion is a sign of tendonitis. It occurs when the rotator cuff is under put pressure by the shoulder blade, usually in the late cocking and early acceleration phase of the throwing motion. It can also accompany by a dull ache or a tight feeling in the shoulder, especially when the arm raise. A diagnosis of dead arm syndrome should be made by a doctor.

There are two different categories of dead arm syndrome: those with awareness of the subluxation and those without. A positive apprehension test performs in a standing or lying position. The shoulder moves into the maximum external rotation or abduction position, and the therapist applies pressure on the posterior side of the humeral head. The anterior part of the humerus presses then against the therapist’s finger or the caput humeri to elicit pain. When the patient becomes apprehensive and complains of pain, the patient deems to have dead arm syndrome.


If you suffer from a sudden ache in the upper arm while externally rotating your arm, you may be suffering from dead arm syndrome. Typically, this is a result of shoulder instability resulting from repeated throwing. Treatments for dead arm syndrome include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy. However, physical therapy is not the best option for every case. You should consult a health practitioner for the best treatment options.

Physical therapy will help you regain full shoulder motion. The exercises will include resisted internal and external rotation, as well as adduction of the shoulder. These exercises will strengthen the muscles of the rotator cuff and stabilize the head of the humerus. After a period of recovery, you can begin an exercise program aimed at strengthening the rotator cuff. After a month of therapy, you should gradually return to throwing. If this treatment program does not bring relief, the next step will be a surgical procedure.


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