Erica and Susan

Exploring Open Chain vs Closed Chain Exercise in Upper Extremity Dysfunction

Mar 21, 2024 | EXERCISE | 0 comments

In the episode, Erica explores the strategic use of open and closed-chain exercises for upper extremity dysfunction. She discusses the distinct benefits and applications of each type of movement, shedding light on how these exercises can be tailored to meet specific needs to enhance performance. 

She uses an example of a tennis player who suffered from right shoulder pain with radiculopathy. She also tackles the critical question of when to load open-chain versus closed-chain exercises, offering practical guidelines based on the stage of recovery and individual progress. 

OKC can be very difficult for someone who has a true shoulder driver. Based on her experience with these patients, most people who play an overhead sport, display a lot of compression in their upper rib cage and shoulder joint. This can masquerade as “thoracic outlet syndrome” or “rotator cuff strain” when it’s a movement pattern created by their sport carried over to all life events. 

By understanding the principles of load management and exercise progression for open and closed-chain exercises, listeners will gain valuable insights into prioritizing certain movements during the rehab process.

A glance at this episode:

  • [2:28] Physical therapy for a tennis player with shoulder and rib compression
  • [5:58] Manual therapy techniques for shoulder issues
  • [11:15] Progressing patients through closed-chain exercises
  • [15:38] Rehabilitation techniques for chronic pain

Related links:


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *