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The Role of Physical Therapy in Shoulder Injury Recovery

June 28th, 2024Shoulder PainOrthoHC

The shoulder is a highly dynamic part of the body consisting of multiple bones, joints, and muscles, as well as a complex network of tendons, ligaments, and cartilage that support the bones and joints. Due to its dynamic nature, the shoulder is prone to overuse and injuries. While some shoulder pain is manageable without medical intervention, if it’s severe or affects your range of motion, it's essential to see an orthopedic shoulder specialist as soon as possible.

Types of Shoulder Injuries

Whether from playing sports or everyday wear and tear, shoulder injuries come in many forms, each with its own level of severity. Common shoulder injuries include:

An orthopedic specialist can provide an accurate diagnosis and develop a customized treatment plan to help you recover. Physical therapy is often a successful non-surgical treatment for shoulder pain. It aims to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder to improve function and mobility.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

The ultimate goal of physical therapy is to get you back to doing what you love without being hindered by pain or reduced mobility. Physical therapy can address shoulder pain by:

  • Improving your range of motion
  • Strengthening and stabilizing your shoulder muscles
  • Helping you learn pain management techniques
  • Sharing prevention tips

Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Depending on your specific shoulder injury, your orthopedic physical therapist will prescribe one or more of the following types of treatment:

  • Ice therapy: Rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) can help reduce inflammation and swelling, thereby reducing pain.
  • Heat therapy: Heat therapy can help reduce pain and relax the muscles.
  • Hands-on therapy: The physical therapist uses specific pressure to relax the injured shoulder and restore its natural mobility.
  • Stretching: Stretching is a common therapy for shoulder pain. Your physical therapist will gently stretch your muscles to help you regain your range of motion. Depending on the injury, they will likely use different levels of stretches to target the shoulder, neck, and spine.
  • Strengthening: Your physical therapist may recommend an exercise routine to reduce pain while strengthening your other muscles. The right exercises can strengthen your body and prevent the injury from repeating itself.

Other treatments include joint mobilization, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and athletic and kinesiology taping.

Shoulder Pain Relief Starts Here

Treatment for shoulder pain depends on the injury and its severity. At The Orthopedic Health Center, our orthopedic shoulder specialists take a conservative approach, utilizing non-surgical treatment options, such as physical therapy, whenever possible. Contact us today for advanced orthopedic shoulder pain care right in your neighborhood.

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