Most of us take our shoulders for granted. After all, who sits and thinks about their shoulders? Probably no one…that is until it’s injured and requires surgery. We use our shoulders for just about every type of motion on a daily basis. Whether it’s a task as simple as brushing our teeth, washing our hair, or reaching for a fork at dinner, or something more strenuous like swinging a golf club, throwing a frisbee, or shooting a basketball, our shoulders are integral to everyday living.
The Anatomy of the Shoulder
The shoulder is one of the body’s most complex mechanisms. It consists of three bones–the upper arm bone (humerus), the shoulder blade (scapula), and the collarbone (clavicle)–that fit into the joint areas of the shoulder and are supported by tendons and muscles. Over time and use, shoulders may develop pain and inflammation, or certain conditions such as:
Common Shoulder Injuries and Causes
The conditions listed above are generally treatable through a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medication as well as heat and ice treatment. However, when you sustain a more serious injury to the shoulder, it generally requires more aggressive treatment, including surgery and physical therapy.
One very common shoulder injury–or area of injury–is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is composed of muscles and tendons that connect the shoulder to the socket, which allows the shoulder to move in a circular motion. You use it hundreds of times per day without even realizing it. Sometimes rotator cuffs can become inflamed–surgery isn’t necessary for that. However, a torn rotator cuff is usually the result of an injury and often requires surgical repair.
Fractures are the other main culprit when it comes to shoulder surgeries. Any of the shoulder bones can break due to a fall, car accident, sports, or other violent jolts to the area. Depending on the severity and area of the fracture, surgery may be necessary for the shoulder to heal properly.
Physical Therapy After Shoulder Surgery
Shoulder surgery can leave you quite sore and less mobile than you’d like to be. It’s normal, but there are ways to help you feel better in a more timely manner. Post-operative physical therapy soon after your surgery can help improve your shoulder motion and get your rehab off to a good start. Timely motion after surgery can help you avoid conditions like “frozen shoulder” and contractures, which make physical therapy more challenging to work through.
Developing a strengthening and stretching treatment plan is key in maximizing and hastening your recovery time. That’s why it’s important to call Physical Therapy Now either before your surgery or soon after, so we can create the perfect PT plan for you. Working together, and with input from your surgeon, we’ll determine the suitable types of exercises for you, both range-of-motion and strengthening routines.
Let the experts at Physical Therapy Now help you feel great faster. Call us today at 800-481-4582 to set up your first appointment.