Bounce Back Strong: Recovering from a Shoulder Injury

Bounce Back Strong: Recovering from a Shoulder Injury

Recovering from a shoulder injury

Have you recently injured your shoulder? If so, then you know that an impaired shoulder has a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Depending on the injury, you may wake up in the middle of the night due to shoulder pain, struggle to reach overhead, or even find it next to impossible to move your shoulder at all. Fortunately, Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness offers simple solutions for recovering from a shoulder injury.

Shoulder injuries are fairly common, although they vary wildly in terms of their symptoms, causes, and impacts. For example, shoulder tendinitis might cause pain and stiffness and result from overuse, while a frozen shoulder might cause severe, debilitating pain and shoulder immobility while having no apparent cause.

The good news is that you can resolve most shoulder injuries with physical therapy. Our team can help you understand the exact nature of your shoulder injury and provide a customized treatment plan to help you manage pain and immobility while working to resolve the underlying impairment.

Curious to learn more about how physical therapy can help with recovering from a shoulder injury? Call us to schedule an appointment at our Garden City clinic today!

Understanding Common Shoulder Injuries

Your shoulder is a complex ball-and-socket joint with an impressive range of motion. However, that complexity means there are a lot of potential injuries you can sustain. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Rotator Cuff Tear: Your rotator cuff is a set of muscles and tendons that support and stabilize the shoulder joint. If any of these tissues tear, you’ll experience pain and weakness throughout the shoulder. Rotator cuff tears often result from repetitive strain–performing the same movements over and over again.
  • Shoulder Impingement: Shoulder impingement also involves the rotator cuff and occurs when the tendons and muscles rub against the shoulder blade, leading to pain and weakness. It can also be caused by repetitive strain.
  • Shoulder Dislocation: A sudden, severe injury can lead to a dislocated shoulder, in which the humerus bone (the “ball” part of the shoulder’s ball-and-socket joint) dislocates out of the shoulder socket, often causing the ligaments or cartilage to tear. A dislocation can lead to shoulder instability and a sense of the shoulder “giving out.”
  • Frozen Shoulder: This condition causes intense pain and stiffness in the shoulder. It begins with intense pain and a gradual loss of range of motion. Then the pain subsides while the immobility remains. After several months (up to two years), the shoulder will eventually “thaw.” Unlike the conditions on this list, frozen shoulders are more mysterious and often don’t have a clear cause.

Recovering from a Shoulder Injury: Physical Therapy’s Role

Experts consider physical therapy a frontline treatment against shoulder injuries, meaning you’ll generally start with physical therapy, then move on to more invasive techniques if your body doesn’t respond. Mostly, recovering from a shoulder injury with physical therapy means restoring your joint mobility and stretching and strengthening the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles.

We’ll generally begin with pain management. Alleviating pain is necessary before you can move on to more intense treatment. Our therapists will find the right pain management plan for you, generally through a blend of manual therapy and pain relieving modalities, such as hot and cold therapy. Manual therapy techniques for pain management include joint mobilizations, soft tissue manipulation, or trigger point therapy.

Manual therapy is also important for improving mobility and range of motion. Joint mobilization, in particular, can help gradually improve your mobility over time, as it involves the therapist gently guiding your shoulder through its current range of motion to slowly increase it. Soft tissue techniques can also promote blood circulation to the shoulder, helping to facilitate healing.

As you see improvements in pain and immobility, we’ll begin incorporating therapeutic exercise into your treatment plan. Exercise is one of the best ways of managing a minor shoulder injury, and we’ll develop a customized treatment plan that suits your needs. Generally, we’ll focus on improving mobility, restoring strength to the rotator cuff, and improving your shoulder’s overall functionality.

In many cases, physical therapy alone can resolve a shoulder injury. However, there will always be some exceptions, and severe injuries may require surgical intervention. However, physical therapy still has an essential role after surgery, as you’ll need a dedicated rehabilitation program to restore strength and function to your shoulder.

What to Expect While Recovering from a Shoulder Injury

Recovering from a shoulder injury certainly takes some time and effort. However, Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness is here to guide you through the process!

When you come in for your initial appointment, our first step will be conducting a comprehensive evaluation to help us better understand your shoulder injury. We’ll take a complete health history, talk to you about symptoms and impairments, and run several movement screens that test for strength and mobility in your shoulder.

All this information helps us develop your treatment plan. We personalize every plan to the patient, allowing us to build it around your particular injury, symptoms, and rehabilitation goals. While every plan is different, you can generally expect it to be exercise-focused, with tailored, targeted exercises designed to resolve the impairment.

We’ll also help with pain management and any necessary activity modifications. For example, if repetitive strain caused your shoulder injury, a few simple ergonomic adjustments to your workspace might help prevent future injuries, especially if you address any underlying muscle weakness that might have led to the injury in the first place.

Say Goodbye to Your Shoulder Injury. Make an Appointment Today!

Shoulder pain and impairment can significantly impact your overall quality of life. If you notice any aches and pains in your shoulder, call Omni Physical Therapy & Wellness for an appointment. The longer you leave a shoulder injury unaddressed, the more likely it is to worsen, so early intervention is key!

Schedule your initial consultation at our Garden City clinic today!


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