How to use a Shoulder Pulley and the Kinesiological Benefit

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There are plenty of things that can go wrong with your shoulder. It’s one of the most complicated anatomical structures in the human body, after all. We use it to reach forward, back, up, down, and side to side. It even allows us to rotate our arms. But all that mobility comes at a cost. Potential problems include bursitis, tendinitis, tendonosis, impingement, instability, arthritis, fractures, and frozen shoulder. Some conditions might require surgery. Whatever the issue, though, there’s a good chance that at some point someone will recommend you use a shoulder pulley.

History of Shoulder Pulleys

Physical therapists have been using shoulder pulleys for generations to help their patients with range of motion issues. In the old days, these were cumbersome contraptions fixed to the walls of a physical therapist’s office. It was like something you’d see in the rigging of a ship, and you could only perform your exercises when you went to visit your PT.

Physical therapist Bill Bollinger was the first to develop a portable shoulder pulley that patients could take home to speed their recovery. He called it the Home Ranger—for range of motion at home—and after decades of refinement and improvement it remains the leading shoulder pulley on the market today.

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Home Ranger Shoulder Pulley, then and now

Using a Shoulder Pulley

A shoulder pulley is a simple device. It can be attached to a door securely with a web strap or bracket. Then it’s only a matter of pulling one handle after another, assisting your shoulder through its range of motion.

Exercises can be performed seated or standing, facing the door or away or even to the side. The attachment of the pulley can be high or low. This all really depends on the nature of your injury and the exercises prescribed by your PT.

In the beginning, your range of motion might be quite limited. Don’t try to overdo it. The Home Ranger Shoulder Pulley features markings on the rope to help you monitor your progress.

Recovery might seem slow at first, but don’t despair! With dedication to your exercise program, the condition of your shoulder will improve!