The Rotater has a strap where you can lock your wrist into place, and it has a nook where you place your elbow. It holds it tight into place, so you have to keep your arm in the correct position. I am going to show you just a few stretches and exercises that really helped me, but if you decide you want to get one, it comes with a DVD that shows you a whole bunch of different ways to stretch and exercise your shoulder. Make sure you discuss this with your physician and PT to make sure you are ready to use the Rotater. I was at the point in my rehab where I was cleared to use it.
One of the great things that the Rotater does is it keeps your arm in the correct position. Many times when people are stretching and exercising with shoulder rotation, they pop their elbow out, and don't get the maximum benefit. It also allows you to rotate your shoulder without having to rotate your whole body. This makes the stretch much more effective.
The first stretch is for external rotation. With your forearm out to your side in a perpendicular position to your body, take the handle and push it towards the other side. Just like any stretch, you can hold it there for 30 seconds, or you can do a continuous stretch and go back and forth 10-15 times.
Another direction for external rotation is the stop sign position. This time your forearm and hand should be pointed upwards with your shoulder and elbow at a 90-degree angle. This time push the handle upwards and your shoulder will rotate backwards.
The next one is for internal rotation. This is very important for us ladies because we need that internal rotation to clasp our bras behind us! Put your forearm and hand into a downward position now, and the Rotater and handle will be on top. Now push the handle down and inward to help push your arm up your back. You can also just push it downward into the reverse stop sign position.
Another cool component of the Rotater is that you can also order a band and handle to do some resistive exercises. Again, make sure it is okay for you to do resistive exercises at this point in your recovery. The Rotater holds the resistive band in place so you don't have to tie it up to anything or close it in a door where it might pop out at you.
So that's the Rotater in a nutshell! Just because it worked well for me, doesn't mean it is going to be right for you. Make sure to discuss this with your healthcare professional, and if you and your healthcare provider think it might be right for you, go to the Rotater website and check it out!
Contributed by Dr. Jo, DPT