One of the main treatments after a shoulder injury is physical therapy. Performing certain exercises can strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. This will help heal your shoulder now and help prevent injury later. These exercises must be done correctly, or you could cause further damage. At Princeton Orthopaedic Associates, we will guide you through a physical therapy routine that will help alleviate your pain and rebuild your shoulder.
Injury is the most common cause of shoulder pain and the need for physical therapy. Recovery after shoulder surgery and pain due to chronic conditions can also bring a need for physical therapy.
Planning the appropriate therapy starts with a proper diagnosis to determine the source of your pain. Once we have determined a cause, we can create a physical therapy routine to help you heal quickly and completely. We may also recommend other treatments, such as over-the-counter painkillers for pain and ice or heat application to reduce inflammation.
Physical therapy for your shoulder takes place in two phases. The first is to protect the shoulder while it heals while retaining and improving shoulder movement. The second phase involves rebuilding strength in your shoulder so it can be used properly. It’s also designed to prevent injury in the future.
You may begin by wearing a sling to stabilize the shoulder. You’ll remove the sling only for your exercise routine. That routine can include gentle stretching and rolling exercises for your shoulder blade, arm, wrist, and hand. You’ll also start flexing your elbow to work the muscles that connect to the shoulder.
As your therapy progresses, you may begin working on exercises involving a cane. You’ll begin moving the cane in front of you and behind your back to improve shoulder movement.
Once movement has improved, you will move on to exercises made to strengthen your shoulder. This could include using a rubber band or strap, using a pulley, or using small hand weights.
Our physical therapists will continue to monitor and evaluate you throughout your physical therapy to ensure your progress stays steady.