Stem Cell Transplant Arm and Shoulder Exercise Program

This information describes an arm and shoulder exercise program that will help you throughout the course of your stem cell transplant and during your recovery.

This exercise program works the arm muscle groups that you use for everyday activities. It will help prevent stiffness and decrease the effects of bed rest and not being able to move. Your physical and occupational therapists will help guide you with this program.

You should stop any exercise that causes you pain or discomfort and tell your occupational or physical therapist.

You will use an elastic band (Thera-band®) for most of these exercises.

Exercises


Figure 1.

Forward punches

  1. With your elbows bent, hold the elastic band at chest level with both hands.
  2. Press your right hand forward (punch) while your left hand remains at your chest (see Figure 1).
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

 

 

 

Figure 2.
     
Figure 3.

Bicep curls

  1. Place one end of the elastic band under your right foot (see Figure 2).
  2. Hold the other end of the band with your right palm facing up, elbow slightly bent.
  3. Pull the elastic band up to your shoulder by bending your elbow (see Figure 3).
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times.
  6. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

 

 

 


Figure 4.
     
Figure 5.

Triceps extension

  1. Hold the elastic band at chin level with both hands (see Figure 4).
  2. Press your right arm down to your right thigh, straightening your arm (see Figure 5).
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

 

 

 

 

Figure 6.
     
Figure 7.

Shoulder flexion

  1. Hold the elastic band with both hands, arms straight down by your sides (see Figure 6).
  2. Keeping your right arm straight, pull your right hand up over your head. Keep your left arm still (see Figure 7).
  3. Slowly return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat 10 times.
  5. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

 

 

 

 


Figure 8.

Scapular retractions

  1. Sit comfortably in a chair with your back straight, shoulders back, and head facing forward.
  2. Raise your arms to shoulder height, keeping your elbows bent with your hands in front of your chest.
  3.  Squeeze your shoulder blades together (see Figure 8).
  4. While keeping your arms raised, bring them back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times.

 

 

Rows

  1. Wrap the elastic band around a stable object, such as a bedrail.
  2. Grasp the elastic band in both hands (see Figure 9).
  3. Keeping your elbows close to your body, pull the elastic band back, squeezing your shoulder blades together (see Figure 10).
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Repeat 10 times.
    Figure 9.
         
    Figure 10.