Shoulder Physical Therapy – What it Can Do For You
Shoulder physical therapy (or physiotherapy) refers to attempts at remediation of an injured body part. This is commonly done to treat a rotator cuff tear, a shoulder impingement syndrome, or any other injury to the upper extremity. Typical symptoms of Shoulder physical therapy include pain, inflammation, and loss of motion. Treatment involves a combination of stretching exercises and strengthening exercises to restore normal range of motion.
Shoulder physical therapy differs from physiotherapy in that it deals with the musculoskeletal system and specifically focuses on the shoulder area. Physiotherapists use more sophisticated therapeutic techniques to treat patients. Shoulder physical therapy is usually an outpatient procedure under the care of a licensed Physiotherapist. Typically, patients are advised to take NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen to relieve pain, immobilize the shoulder and minimize any swelling, and to rest the shoulder.
Other types of injuries often treated with Shoulder physical therapy techniques include tennis elbow, whiplash, sprains, sports injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, and fractures. Patients are also advised to perform daily stretching exercises to promote increased range-of-motion and strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments. For more severe shoulder pain relief, Physiotherapists may recommend surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff muscle or repair a bursa sac or tendon.
Physical therapy has proven very effective in treating Shoulder pain and other injury cases. A skilled therapist can help you overcome everyday activities that may cause pain. He or she will teach you how to do simple exercises to reduce swelling, increase range-of-motion, and strengthen the muscles and tendons in your shoulder area. Your therapist will teach you how to perform stretches and strengthening exercises in a safe, gentle, and effective manner that reduces your pain and stiffness.
Shoulder physical therapy may also include exercise prescription medications. These can be very helpful if you have an injury that limits your motion. For example, physical therapists may prescribe medications for increasing your strength and flexibility. These prescription medications are usually used for strengthening purposes and are not meant to give you a recreational “high.”
You should not attempt to do Shoulder physical therapy exercises alone. If you have an overuse injury, you should consult your doctor before attempting any self-treatment. If you are not treating an injury, but just soreness, you should discuss your pain management options with your Physiotherapist. In most cases, a Physiotherapist will provide you with a referral to another therapist who specializes in Shoulder overuse injury.