A calcareous shoulder (tendinosis calcarea) is not an uncommon problem and can affect all age groups.

Calcium is deposited in the shoulder joint and causes pain and inflammation. For a successful therapy of the calcareous shoulder, on the one hand, functioning pain medication is important. The shoulder must be kept moving and must not stiffen. There are certain exercises for this, with which the healing of the calcareous shoulder can be promoted.

Which exercises help?

Exercises for mobility and stretching of the shoulder as well as muscle building are used with a calcareous shoulder.
The activity and movement of muscles and tendons is important as it increases blood flow. This supports the removal of limescale deposits.

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Read more on the topic: Calcareous tendinitis of the shoulder

Train your flexibility

A simple exercise for mobility is swinging your arms. Here you stand up straight and swing your arms back and forth. You will only get to a certain point both in the front and in the back, as pain can occur beyond that. As with all exercises, however, you should try to achieve a certain state of tension when swinging without experiencing pain.

A water bottle or a light weight can also be placed in each hand to reduce the stress on the shoulder joint. The weights pull the arms down more strongly and there is more space in the joint space. The gain in space means that there is less friction in the joint, which also reduces pain.


Another exercise is to place one hand over your shoulder with the palm on your back.
Then, with the other hand, pull the bent elbow slightly towards the head to stretch the muscles of the shoulder. This position should be held for about 10 seconds.

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Read more about this: stretching exercises

Muscle strengthening exercises

The following exercise, for example, is recommended to strengthen the muscles: Stand in front of a solid surface, such as a door frame. Then you lift the forearms in front, the upper arms stay on the body. Now press against the surface with the forearms raised. With little muscle movement, which could be painful, the muscles are still tensed and trained.

Exercising with elastic bands for fitness purposes can also be useful for building muscles. It's important to move your shoulders regularly to prevent stiffening. For this reason, the exercises should be performed several times a day if possible.

You might also be interested in this topic: Strength training - tips about training

Appointment with a shoulder specialist

I would be happy to advise you!

Who am I?
My name is Carmen Heinz. I am a specialist in orthopedics and trauma surgery in the specialist team of .

The shoulder joint is one of the most complicated joints in the human body.

The treatment of the shoulder (rotator cuff, impingement syndrome, calcified shoulder (tendinosis calcarea, biceps tendon, etc.) therefore requires a lot of experience.
I treat a wide variety of shoulder diseases in a conservative way.
The aim of any therapy is treatment with full recovery without surgery.
Which therapy achieves the best results in the long term can only be determined after looking at all of the information (Examination, X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, etc.) be assessed.

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You can find me in:

  • Lumedis - your orthopedic surgeon
    Kaiserstrasse 14
    60311 Frankfurt am Main

Directly to the online appointment arrangement
Unfortunately, it is currently only possible to make an appointment with private health insurers. I hope for your understanding!
You can find more information about myself at Carmen Heinz.

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How long do I have to do the exercises?

The duration of the exercises depends very much on the individual characteristics of the calcareous shoulder. On the one hand, the amount of deposits is important. On the other hand, the healing time is very different for each person and depends on factors such as blood circulation.

However, it can be said that treating a calcareous shoulder with the help of exercises can take some time. You should plan a period of a few weeks up to several months. Whether or not the exercises are still necessary depends very much on the pain. If there is the feeling that the shoulder can be moved freely in all directions without pain, then healing can be assumed.

However, the exercises are also useful for strengthening the shoulder in healthy people. Therefore it is quite possible to continue the exercises even after the feeling of healing.

You might also be interested in this topic: Shoulder muscle training

Can I permanently heal a calcified shoulder with exercises?

It is difficult to speak of a permanent healing, since a calcareous shoulder can of course reappear. However, it can be said that a calcareous shoulder heals by itself 95% of the time. In this case, the exercises have an even strengthening effect. A calcareous shoulder can therefore be treated and even healed with the help of exercises.

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However, the recurrence of a lime shoulder is possible. If the exercises do not lead to a cure, shock wave therapy or an operation can be considered. However, some of these procedures are expensive or risky. For this reason, physiotherapy and exercises are always recommended for smaller deposits.

Read on this topic: Operation of a calcareous shoulder

What are the risks of the exercises?

Usually there are no risks involved in the exercises. Be careful not to move or stretch your shoulder so far that you feel pain. As soon as you feel slight pain, you should reduce the load.

If the shoulder is stressed too much during the exercises, this prevents the calcareous shoulder from subsiding. Since the tendons are inflamed and irritated, it is counterproductive to put a lot of stress on the tendons. In most cases, however, the pain is severe enough to prevent overloading the shoulder.

The greatest risk is probably the continued existence of the calcareous shoulder or, in severe cases, even intensification of the inflammation.

Exercises after surgery on the calcareous shoulder

An operation on the shoulder should not be underestimated. For the best possible healing process, it is therefore important to keep your shoulder moving. In a calcareous shoulder operation, the calcium deposits in the shoulder are removed in a minimally invasive manner (via a small incision). Usually the shoulder is immobilized for about 3 weeks immediately after the operation. This is followed by physiotherapy with movement exercises.

Exercise 1: swinging your arms

Another good exercise here is swinging your arms with a water bottle in hand. This improves the mobility of the shoulder joint even after the operation.

Exercise 2: pressing your hands together

Another muscle building exercise is pressing your palms together. This exercise is very easy to do. You sit down and press your palms against each other in front of your body. The tension can be held for about 30 seconds. This exercise should be repeated 3 times in total.

Exercise 3: crawl up and down the wall

Standing there is also a simple yet effective exercise that can be performed after surgery. You stand in front of a wall and place your hands on the wall with your arms slightly bent. Now crawl up and down the wall with your hands as far as possible. It is also possible to do this exercise sideways. The exhaustion of the range of motion increases the flexibility and mobility of the shoulder.

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Exercise 4: interlocking your fingers

Another exercise to increase strength is clenching your hands. Place both palms in front of your body with your arms bent horizontally. Now you hook the fingers so that the hands can no longer be pulled apart. Then you pull the arms outwards towards each other, so that tension is created on the hooked fingers and the shoulder muscles tense. This tension should be held for about 30 seconds and repeated three times.

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