How Orthopedic Physical Therapy Can Help You Regain Use Of Your Shoulder

Posted on: 16 December 2017

The human body is dependent on the shoulder to perform many activities. If you have an injury to your rotator cuff, then it is a frustrating experience. The frustrating part comes from shoulder pain, which is a common symptom of this injury.

When you have a tear in your rotator cuff, the tendon starts to separate or tear away from the bone of your upper arm. You will need surgery to reattach your tendon to your bone. The success of your surgery depends on how well the interface between your bone and tendon heals. Read on to find out how orthopedic physical therapy can help you regain use of your shoulder.

Getting Back To Normal Activities

Rehabilitation plays an important role in getting back to normal activities. The length of your physical therapy program depends on the type of surgery. This program can help you regain strength and motion back into your shoulder. It also helps to follow any instructions that your doctor gives you for shoulder exercises.

However, recovery can take from four to six months depending on the size of your tear. You also may have to wear a sling from four to six weeks after the surgery. If you are experiencing discomfort, then your doctor will prescribe painkillers to manage the pain.

Starts With Passive Exercises

Your physical therapist will customize a treatment plan for your recovery. However, you will start with gentle passive range-of-motion exercises. After getting your surgery, the muscles in your arms are still weak. Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to move your shoulder and arm.

With passive exercise, a physical therapist provides support to your arm and moves it in different positions. This exercise improves your range of motion.

Move On To Active Exercises

Active shoulder exercises are done without the help of a therapist. You are moving your shoulder naturally. These exercises will gradually increase your strength and improves arm control. After going through this session, you can move on to a strengthening exercise program.

If you continue to work or play sports, then your rotator cuff injury will only get worse. It helps to discuss a treatment plan with your doctor. After surgery, you should participate in physical therapy. You do not want your arm to get stiff.

However, you should expect a complete recovery to take several months. It is a slow process, but success comes with your commitment to rehabilitation.