Although the methods used to treat shoulder conditions vary, rehabilitation is often necessary after the initial treatment, to restore full movement and mobility and help the patient return to all usual activities. After the shoulder has healed from the initial treatment, a physical therapy regimen is implemented to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. In some cases, physical therapy alone may be used to help restore strength and movement of the shoulder.
Therapeutic Methods for Treating Shoulder Conditions
Initial physical therapy treatments may include ice, electrical stimulation and massage, to help control pain and swelling. As the healing begins, exercises may be used to increase movement and mobility. Physical therapy exercises focus on improving the strength and control of shoulder muscles and the muscles around the shoulder blade. Treatment may include:
Muscle strengthening exercises
Shoulder girdle stabilization exercises
Gradual weight-bearing activities
Range of motion exercises
The physical therapist may also make suggestions and create exercises for improving posture and shoulder alignment as well advise patients on how to perform activities and exercises without endangering the the injured area.
Adhering to the physical therapy program and the entire rehabilitation process are essential for achieving effective results. Severe injuries that require more complex initial treatment may have a longer period of rehabilitation than those that are less severe. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty moving the arm and shoulder and performing regular tasks.