Rehabilitation after a shoulder injury

May 24th, 2012
Rehabilitation after a shoulder injury

Rehabilitation after a shoulder injury is a treatment plan that aims to restore full functionality to the shoulder through exercises after a shoulder injury or surgery.  It also includes learning the body mechanics and the proper posture to prevent recurrence.  There are four goals when it comes to rehabilitation and these are to reduce pain, to improve movement, to improve function and to regain strength.

After a shoulder injury or surgery, it is expected to feel weakness of shoulder joints, limited range of motion, and muscular incoordination.

Rehabilitation after a shoulder injury serves to help the patient regain full flexibility, normal functionality of the joints, endurance, strength and balance.

Performing shoulder exercises is a very useful form of physical therapy treatment especially if your goal is rehabilitation after a shoulder injury.  Shoulder exercises must always be performed with the proper supervision to ensure that the targeted muscles will not be given undue stress.

Physical therapy rehabilitation after a shoulder injury normally focuses on improving shoulder strength and flexibility.  Adequate range of motion is needed to perform most common tasks and patients would experience stiffness of shoulder muscles when doing actions like combing their hair, buckling their seatbelt or when they try to reach behind their back.

Another part of the rehabilitation after a shoulder injury treatment plan is to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder.  The rotator cuff muscles should be treated with care during this state to avoid causing inflammation and further injury especially if the exercises are done improperly.

Stretching the shoulder can help loosen the stiff muscles that cause tightness and stiffness in the shoulder area.  Rehabilitation after a shoulder injury includes stretching as an important aspect of the treatment.  A common treatment plan starts with relieving the pain, swelling or an irritation; restoring the shoulders’ range of motion; and strengthening the joint.

Some exercises that increase the range of motion are the pendulum exercise, the cane exercise, kneeling reach stretch, external and internal rotation and corner stretch.  To strengthen the shoulder muscles, these exercises are common: the superman squeeze, wall push-ups and flexion and abduction.

For the purpose of strengthening the rotator cuff muscles, these are performed:  scaption, external rotator and internal rotator exercises.

It is important for a patient undergoing rehabilitation after a shoulder injury to remember his or her limitations.  Care should be taken to ensure no additional and unwarranted stress be done to the recovering shoulder muscles.