Physical Therapy for Shoulder Conditions
After initial treatment for a shoulder condition, rehabilitation in the form of physical therapy is often necessary to restore full strength and range of motion to the shoulder, and help the patient return to all usual activities. The physical therapy regimen is designed to strengthen muscles and increase mobility. In some cases, physical therapy alone is used to treat a shoulder condition.
Therapeutic Methods for Treating Shoulder Conditions
To help control pain and swelling, initial physical therapy treatments include ice, electrical stimulation, and massage. As healing begins, exercises are 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 includes the following:
- Muscle-strengthening exercises
- Shoulder-girdle-stabilization exercises
- Range-of-motion exercises
- Weight-bearing activities (weight is gradually increased)
Physical therapists typically create exercises for improving posture and shoulder alignment, and show patients how to perform them without further injuring the shoulder.
Adhering to a physical therapy program is 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 can cause difficulty with moving the arm and shoulder, and performing everyday tasks.