Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Tania Shearon OTR/L

Second Advisor

Rebecca Wolf OTR/L, MPH, JD; Adam Story PT, DPT


The most common standard therapy exercise equipment for upper extremity (UE) strengthening consists of elastic/resistance bands, dumbbells, and dowels. During the rehabilitation process, more effective equipment may assist patients in achieving the strength needed for optimal UE functioning. The novel shoulder exercise machine allows linear movement exercises in any direction and attaches to nonporous surfaces (horizontal to vertical surfaces) via two powerful vacuum cups. It uses resistance bands to provide tension during resistance training to target muscles of the shoulder complex. The machine enhances safety by providing controlled linear movements and increased UE support and stabilization compared to using weights and resistance bands where the UE is otherwise unsupported and responsible for controlled movements.

Creating a comprehensive manual of the shoulder exercise machine is a necessary step for the device to be used by clinicians working in various settings. The components of the manual include an introduction of the machine, installation setup, instructions for adjustments, troubleshooting, examples of different exercises, and how to document using the device with patients. Secondly, since the shoulder exercise machine is an intervention that targets the shoulder complex musculature, it is important to review the anatomy of the shoulder complex, conditions impacting this region where performing resistive exercise may be warranted, a generalized range for an effective dose-response relationship, and the impact of conditions and decreased muscle strength on occupational performance. This information is pertinent for understanding the function and potential benefits of using the shoulder exercise as an intervention.