Doctors typically recommend physical therapy as a key part of a patient’s recovery after surgery. If you have recently had shoulder surgery, physical therapy can help you maximize the results of your operation and get your shoulder working again.
Physical therapy is a health profession that helps treat mild or chronic pain, mobility, and impairments resulting from injury or illness – including cardiovascular, endocrinological, musculoskeletal, neurological, or respiratory illness. Likewise, most types of surgery cause damage to tissues because of incisions and manipulation of other soft tissues in order to access the affected area, so physical therapy will be necessary to regain function in that area.
A physical therapist (PT) can help you mitigate any postoperative shoulder pain while restoring healthy joint and muscle function. You will gradually regain the strength and flexibility of your shoulder muscles.
Physical Therapy Exercises for Recovering from Shoulder Surgery
After shoulder surgery, your doctor and physical therapist will typically recommend rehabilitation activities like exercising and/or stretching for 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times per day. These exercises may be active (where you perform them on your own strength) or passive (assisted by someone else or by another part of your body).
Let’s take a look at some of the exercises that your physical therapist may show you after shoulder surgery, as your shoulder is ready and becomes stronger:
Put your hands together (cup your fingers together) and lift your arms above your head. For 10 to 20 seconds, maintain the elevation with your elbows as straight as possible. After 10 to 20 seconds, slowly lower your arms in front of you. Increase the height of your hands above your head as you progress.
You can also do this activity by raising your arms upward with your fingertips pointing to the ceiling. Keep your elbows straight. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then lower your arms slowly in front of you.
Supported Shoulder Rotation
While sitting or standing, rotate the lower half of your arm (the forearm) so your hand is next to your waist on the opposite side of your body. Keeping your forearm at the same height, slowly rotate it back and forth, so your hand is moving from one side to the other.
Use your fingers of the affected arm to “crawl” up a wall as high up as possible. Once you’ve reached your hand as high up as possible (and comfortable), hold this position for 10 to 20 seconds. Slowly crawl your fingers back down the wall.
Stand with your back against a wall. Put your arms straight out at your sides, and place your hands on the wall. Stay in this position for 5 seconds and then relax.
Physical Therapy After Shoulder Surgery in Austin
Physical therapy is an integral part of a patient’s recovery after having a shoulder operation. Our team at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness specializes in the treatment of conditions affecting mobility and usefulness of the various areas of your body that have been impacted by injury, surgery, or illness.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our physical therapists, contact our friendly staff today by calling (512) 284-7192. You may also fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!