We rely a lot on our shoulders. The slightest shoulder pain can affect how you go about your day and complete your work responsibilities. You need nothing less than a fully functioning shoulder – unimpeded by pain – to perform your tasks and duties.
If you are suffering from painful shoulders due to an overuse injury or a traumatic injury, your orthopedic doctor may include physical therapy in your treatment plan. It is a common misconception that physical therapy is only needed after surgery. This is not true! Just as patients recovering from shoulder surgery can benefit from physical therapy, so too can those with chronic shoulder pain due to injuries or health conditions.
Studies show physical therapy can be very effective in treating shoulder conditions that cause pain, such as rotator cuff injuries, shoulder arthritis, and shoulder impingements. It can even help delay or eliminate the need of shoulder surgery.
Let’s see how physical therapy can help with shoulder pain.
Your first session with a physical therapist will involve an examination of your shoulder strength and range of motion. Your physical therapist may ask you to reach for things or extend your arm to your maximum limits. By doing so, the therapist can determine the type of exercises and treatment techniques needed to address your shoulder pain and limitations. Your physical therapist will educate you on how to perform exercises safely and effectively.
Furthermore, your physical therapist will provide recommendations on activity modifications and workplace ergonomics to avoid further shoulder pain and injuries. After your evaluation, you will have a physical therapy plan, which will include exercises, stretches, and other treatments. You will work closely with your physical therapist to complete all of these for several weeks or until your shoulder pain symptoms subside.
Shoulder Strengthening Exercises Help Relieve Pain
If your shoulder pain is due to an injury, the doctor may recommend a period of immobilization. This is also the case if you are coming out from surgery. Your shoulder muscles are going to need strengthening after you heal. A physical therapist has specialized training required to target all muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your shoulder – especially those you may have neglected or those that have weakened significantly due to your injury or condition.
A physical therapist can guide you in exercises that will strengthen your shoulder muscles to relieve pain and to slowly restore joint function and range of motion. Physical therapy exercises can also help prevent addiction to pain medications, since your body releases natural painkillers when exercising. Physical therapy can also help pump your blood better – particularly in the injured part of the body, so you heal faster and more effectively. Some examples of pain-relieving exercises for the shoulders are the pendulum stretch and the crossover arm stretch.
Manual Physical Therapy
Physical therapists are also well-trained in manual therapy exercises to get your circulation going and to encourage healing in your shoulders, which can help reduce pain. Some examples of manual manipulation exercises are thoracic and cervical joint manipulation or mobilization exercises. Manual therapy can help relieve pain and slowly restore normal shoulder function.
Use of Rehabilitative Tools and Therapies
If necessary, physical therapists may also provide accessories for strengthening exercises, such as resistance bands and shoulder pulleys. They can also use other therapies, such as temperature therapy, electrical stimulation, and dry needling for complete and effective shoulder rehabilitation.
All these treatments can help patients who not only need physical therapy after surgery, but also those who are suffering from chronic shoulder pain after an injury or due to a health condition, like arthritis.
Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain in Austin, Texas
The professional and highly-trained physical therapists at Endeavor Physical Therapy welcome you to our physical therapy clinics in Austin, Round Rock, and Manor, Texas. We can help relieve your pain symptoms with effective physical therapy techniques, modalities, and exercises.
To schedule a consultation, call Endeavor Physical Therapy at (512) 284-7192 or schedule an appointment today.