When To Start Physical Therapy After a Rotator Cuff Injury
That shoulder pain hurts. And that’s why you moved forward in getting surgery to have it repaired, despite all the non-surgical treatment methods you tried. They may have helped, but not nearly enough, right? But now what? You know you need to start physical therapy, and you’re not alone in wondering about when to start physical therapy after a rotator cuff injury.
The Timing Must Be Right
As described by Healthline, “The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that help stabilize the shoulder. They also aid in movement. Every time you move your shoulder, you are using your rotator cuff to stabilize and help move the joint.”
Just like any other surgery, healing the rotator cuff properly is a must. However, the timing of each step you take through the healing process must be right; otherwise you risk further injury. And when it comes to your rotator cuff, you have to make sure to take it easy, regardless of how ready you are to jump back into your normal routine.
Your healing journey probably won’t be exactly like anyone else’s because just like your specific rotator cuff injury (and the way it happened) is unique to you, so is the healing process.
Physical Therapy for Rotator Cuff Injuries
There are so many different ways a rotator cuff can be injured. It could be tendonitis or bursitis, or it could have happened in a sporting accident or perhaps a car accident. In many cases, surgery can be avoided by undergoing physical therapy, but whether you opt for surgery or no surgery, the following will give you some insight as to what will happen in physical therapy.
Here at PT Now, the therapist will help you:
- Regain your strength
- Learn how to move items and carry objects with less pain (and even pain free)
- Learn physical therapy exercises at PT and at home that target the shoulder muscles
- Reduce pain with proper posture
- Regain your range of motion
- Offer techniques for improving sleep
- Utilize ice or heat to help manage pain
- And much more!
When to Begin Post Surgery Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy
It is important to note: the following timeline is general. Your personal healing journey and physical therapy timeline are unique to your injury, surgery, health and healing process, so use this only as a guide as to what you might expect:
- Immediately after surgery-6 weeks – The healing and building of strength will be the primary focus. Your arm will likely be in a sling, and your physical therapist will do the majority of your arm movement for you, so as to not aggravate the tendons.
- 6-12 Weeks – The focus will continue on the muscles and will now begin to focus on the healing of the tendons, with more movement now shifting from heavy physical therapist assistance to you doing a good bit of the work.
- 12-16 Weeks – Proper strengthening can now begin, with the focus shifting heavily to making the muscles and tendons stronger as they continue to heal.
- 16-20 Weeks – Full recovery begins. Again, it depends on your specific circumstances, but this is typically when a true estimate can be made for when the rotator cuff will be at 100% again, as it was prior to the injury.
Rotator Cuff Physical Therapy in Miami
Do you need physical therapy for your rotator cuff? Whether your goal or to avoid surgery or if you need physical therapy following surgery, call us at Physical Therapy Now. We have a location within 5 miles of your residence or work, guaranteed, so getting to any of our facilities is convenient. Call us today to set up your first appointment at (800) 481-4582.
We are here for you!