Resistance bands are an ideal tool in the rehabilitation of shoulder and other injuries. These are essentially large elastic bands which allow you to safely work in a controlled way through the entire range of shoulder movements both concentrically (shortening of muscles as they contract) and eccentrically (lengthening of the muscles as they contract). They come in different thicknesses giving increasing grades of resistance which is helpful when working up through the different stages of rehabilitation.
The problem with free weights is that they don't give you enough control of the movements, which is essential in the early stages of retraining. Lack of control of a movement can put unnecessary strain on the healing soft tissues within the shoulder, risking further damage. Once you have gained some strength and better coordination of movements progressing up the various grades of resistance bands, then you can start with light weights. Go very easy at first and only start with free weights when your physiotherapist feels you are ready.
Answered by Dr A Wright.
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