Physical therapy is often necessary for the treatment of shoulder pain, which affects millions of people. Physiotherapists are highly trained and licensed professionals who treat a wide variety of musculoskeletal injuries, diseases, and chronic illnesses.
Through physical therapy, you will be able to decrease your pain and increase your strength and mobility, thus improving your daily quality of life. If you have pain or difficulty reaching for something on a high shelf, getting dressed, tucking in a shirt or reaching into your back pocket, or have been avoiding some of these activities due to pain, stiffness, or weakness, it is likely that physical therapy can help.
Physical therapy may help you if you are having difficulty getting dressed, reaching for things on high shelves or into your back pocket, tucking in your shirt. The treatment will also aid you if you’ve been avoiding certain activities because of shoulder pain, or stiffness.
How can physical therapy help with shoulder pain?
It’s not just athletes who often suffer from rotator cuff injuries; anyone who performs overhead movements repeatedly throughout the day as they do their work, such as painters, electricians, and carpenters, is susceptible to rotator cuff injuries. With age, you are also more likely to suffer rotator cuff injuries.
These three types of injuries commonly affect the rotator cuff: tears, tendinitis, and bursitis.
- Overuse of the rotator cuff leads to tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the tendon. Those who must get overhead often to perform their jobs often experience this problem.
- The bursa, which sits between the tendons of the rotator cuff and the shoulder bones, becomes inflamed during bursitis.
- The rotator cuff is strained or torn by acute trauma or overuse, such as a sports injury, a fall, or a car accident. Patients usually experience severe shoulder pain as a result of these injuries.
In physical therapy, shoulder pain can be treated by joint mobilization/stabilization, stretching, and strengthening. Your physical therapy program may also include heat, ice, ultrasound, athletic tape, or electrical stimulation.
Physiotherapists can also advise you about workplace ergonomics and activity modification. In addition to your physical therapy sessions, your physical therapist will develop an exercise program that will help you maintain your quality of life.
When can you benefit from physiotherapy if you have shoulder pain?
Physical therapy may be a very effective non-surgical treatment for shoulder pain, depending on the extent and severity of your condition. Studies have shown that physical therapy can improve your quality of life and in some cases prevent surgery for conditions such as shoulder impingement, small rotator cuff tears, and mild to moderate osteoarthritis.
However, if shoulder surgery is your best option, physical therapy can still play a vital role in your recovery both before and after surgery. For a variety of reasons, your physician may send you to physical therapy before surgery. Also known as “prehab”, pre-surgical physical therapy may involve strength development, education, and developing an exercise routine at home. Physical therapy has been shown to speed up surgical recovery times and reduce postoperative rehabilitation by participating in pre-hab sessions before surgery.
Additionally, you may be referred to a physical therapist to help relieve and regain your strength after any type of shoulder surgery – such as a partial or total joint replacement, an arthroscopic procedure, or a rotator cuff repair. Post-surgical physiotherapy sessions have been shown to increase flexibility, improve range of motion, boost healing, and help you get back to your routine activities quickly.