Thera Cane Exercises

The Thera Cane® (TC) is a form of self-myofascial release (SMR) that helps to improve tissue alignment and quality. SMR is essentially a form of self-massage that utilizes certain tools (i.e Thera Cane®, foam rollers, tennis balls, etc.) designed to reduce the stresses to the hands that can be caused by performing self-massage. The Thera Cane® is available online from numerous distributors, including for $30-35 plus shipping.


General Instructions

1. Perform during the warm-up or cool-down when exercising

2. Place one of the 6 knobs over the area of pain/tenderness

3. Use both hands to apply pressure, as tolerated, for 30 seconds

4. You may also “wiggle” the TC around, keeping the knob in the same location

  • This will apply pressure to more tissues in the surrounding area

5. After applying pressure to the area, remove the TC and stretch the area for 30 seconds to encourage tissue lengthening and organization



Tell your physical therapist if you have any of the following conditions, as TC use may not be appropriate:

  • Recent Fracture or injury
  • Osteoporosis/Osteopenia
  • Anticoagulant (Blood Thinner) Medication Use
  • Infection
  • Sensory loss

Examples of Areas Commonly Targeted by Thera Cane® (TC)

  1. Low/Mid/Upper Back
  2. Shoulders
  3. Neck
  4. Hips
  5. Arms
  6. Legs

Example Thera Cane Exercise (Right Shoulder)

Apply light pressure to the painful/tender area using the knob on the hooked portion of the TC (knob #1 in above diagram). Place your right hand either on the top handle or on the hooked portion of the TC, and your left hand on the bottom handle. Press downward with both hands to increase pressure on the painful/tender area, as tolerated.

More examples of applications for TC use can be found on the Thera Cane® website at


Click Here to Download the PDF!

  • american medical association logo
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand logo
  • American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons logo
  • American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery logo
  • North American Spine Society logo
  • OrthoInfo Logo
  • American Association of Hip & Knee Surgeons logo