The Role of Physiotherapy After Shoulder Surgery
Importance of Physiotherapy in Shoulder Surgery Rehabilitation
The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the body and this means that the potential to perform repetitive actions like swinging, lifting and other sports based actions is increased. We love using our shoulders to do many activities we enjoy, and thus, the risk of shoulder injury is higher. Thus, shoulder surgery is generally performed when there are shoulder complications including rotator cuff tears or shoulder dislocations. In order to regain range of movement and resume normal activity, it is vital to follow recovery guidelines with the help of an expert who would provide guidance on exercises, practices, lifestyle changes and more.
Common Problems Leading to Shoulder Surgery
To comprehensively understand how physiotherapy helps with shoulder surgery rehab, we must first learn some causes of shoulder injury that may require surgery to recover from.
Rotator cuff tear is one of the most common problems that require shoulder surgery. Rotator cuffs are a group of tendons and muscles situated around the shoulder. When you overuse your shoulders by lifting heavy objects or by moving them repeatedly during sports, it can cause strain in the shoulder leading to rotator cuff tears.
Shoulder injury due to dislocation is caused by various factors, including accidents, sports injuries, falls, and in some cases due to seizures and electric shocks. It occurs when the upper arm bone is displaced out of the shoulder socket, causing severe pain and instability. Surgery is often required to repair damaged ligaments and provide stability, helping restore function. After surgery, rehabilitation through shoulder physiotherapy is crucial for optimal recovery.
A labral shoulder injury occurs when the ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder joint is damaged. These are normally caused by injuries and overuse but also due to sports-related issues or any other underlying degenerative conditions. Surgery may be required to repair the damaged labrum or reconstruct it, which then helps in alleviating pain and improving stability and endurance.
Frozen shoulder is a common condition characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint.
This can happen when your arm is kept immobile for a long period of time. It is also common among people with underlying conditions such as diabetes. In severe cases, surgery may be required to return to full fitness from this condition. After the surgery, physiotherapy plays a vital role in reducing shoulder stiffness.
Arthritis is a condition where the joints in your body experience swelling and tenderness. Shoulder arthritis occurs when the ball or socket joint around the shoulder wears down. It is characterized by pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion of the shoulder. Surgical procedures are often performed to reduce pain and improve the quality of life of patients, and physiotherapy assists in maintaining healthy shoulders to avoid recurrence.
Benefits of Physiotherapy After Shoulder Surgery
Physiotherapy after shoulder surgery has multiple benefits right, from pain management to increased ability to perform activities on a daily basis. Let’s take a look at some of these common benefits.
Restoring Range of Motion
After shoulder surgery, there is bound to be a prolonged period where your shoulder cannot achieve the range of motion it normally can. While adequate rest is recommended as you heal from a shoulder injury, there are certain exercises and joint mobilization techniques that are very helpful in returning your shoulder back to its original state. Other physiotherapy techniques include strengthening exercises, manual therapy, education on pain management, and lifestyle adjustments.
Strengthening Muscles and Joints
Building endurance and strength in your muscles and joints through the post-surgery phase without causing excessive strain or discomfort is achieved through careful physiotherapy routines. A physiotherapist provides advice on the right kind of targeted exercises and resistance training that you can perform, which will help build strength over time and allow you to recover as planned.
Managing Pain and Inflammation
Managing pain and inflammation are crucial aspects of post-surgery rehabilitation as it helps you conduct your treatment and exercise plans without any physical hurdles. There are various physiotherapy techniques, such as ice/heat therapy, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound which are beneficial for pain management. Manual therapy is also a common method that helps with reducing inflammation and muscle tension.
Enhancing Functional Abilities
Functional abilities refer to your capability to perform everyday tasks such as lifting, carrying objects, or stretching the arm. The key goal of post-surgery physiotherapy is to provide independence to the patient through a customized program. This program generally includes specifically targeted exercises, movements, and other physiotherapy techniques which help a person regain range of motion, coordination, and endurance..
Preventing Complications and Adverse Effects
Physiotherapy has proven to be the most effective way to prevent complications and adverse effects after surgery, especially in delicate areas such as the shoulder. Other than helping with rehabilitation through exercises, physiotherapy provides expert guidance on posture and diet management and helps with adjusting other lifestyle factors for ideal post-rehab functioning. With advice on correct body mechanics, you will be able to minimize any injury risks in the future.
Timeline of Physiotherapy Interventions in Shoulder Surgery Rehabilitation
The timeline of physiotherapy interventions in shoulder surgery rehabilitation varies based on the severity of the issue and the type of surgery, but it generally follows a certain structure. Physiotherapy for shoulder pain and surgery takes the following route:
Shoulder injuries are of varying types and severity, and thus, surgery is only recommended after a thorough assessment, and the type of surgery is decided based on your goals, medical history, and other factors. Thus, a pre-operative phase is key in educating patients about the upcoming procedure. This phase is also crucial in preparing the patient both physically and mentally for the rehab process. In some cases, physiotherapy for shoulder pain also includes mild exercises that are recommended before the surgery.
Immediate Post-operative Phase
In the post-surgery phase, physiotherapy interventions begin almost immediately to help restore the function of the shoulder. Gentle, passive range of motion exercises are conducted under the guidance of an expert. This helps prevent joint stiffness, maintain flexibility, and promote circulation.
Late Post-operative Phase
In this stage, which is usually weeks or months after surgery, the patient has already gone through a proper exercise routine that mostly consists of a range of motion exercises. Thus, the focus in the late postoperative phase shifts towards further improving strength, endurance, and functional abilities in the shoulder joint for optimal shoulder stability and control.
Physiotherapy Techniques for Shoulder Surgery Rehabilitation
Physiotherapy for shoulder pain is distinct from physiotherapy for post-surgery rehabilitation. These techniques are diverse and specialized for different surgeries and work in various ways for different individuals, but there are certain techniques that are commonly used for shoulder surgery rehabilitation..
Range of Motion Exercises
Range of motion exercises in post-shoulder injury surgery rehabilitation is those that help restore the flexibility and movement of the shoulder joint. Over time, they help gently stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the shoulder and gradually release stiffness. When performed under the guidance of an expert, these exercises help you regain functional abilities and return to everyday activities.
Strengthening exercises are an important part of post-shoulder surgery rehabilitation and are often conducted in the later parts of the physiotherapy routine. These exercises provide endurance and stability to targeted muscles by gradually increasing the load on the shoulders over a period of time. .
Manual Therapy Techniques
Manual therapy is a physiotherapy method that takes hands-on approaches like joint mobilization and soft tissue massages to therapy. Manual therapy has been proven to decrease pain and improve the mobility of tissues and joints around the affected area. Further, it provides pain relief, releases muscle tension, and increases circulation.
Neuromuscular training is a type of therapy that mainly focuses on strength and overall fitness. It focuses on specific sports-related movements while also focusing on basic movements and building resistance. This technique aids other regular strengthening and stretching exercises with a unique attention to balance and agility, focusing on re-establishing coordination and control.
Embrace the Power of Physiotherapy in Shoulder Surgery Rehabilitation
Recovery from shoulder surgery requires great strength and resilience. With the help of Physiotattva’s expert shoulder physiotherapy, you can experience smooth and effective rehabilitation that provides long-term comfort and independence. If you or your loved one is going through a shoulder injury that requires surgery, consider reaching out to our experts, who will draft a comprehensive treatment plan for your journey to recovery: +91 89510 47001
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of physical therapy after surgery?
The key role of physical therapy after surgery is to restore function, alleviate pain, and provide direction and guidance to the patient through recovery.
Will I experience pain during physiotherapy after shoulder surgery?
It is possible that you may experience pain from time to time during physiotherapy, but rest assured that it will subside over time with expert guidance and support.
When should I start physiotherapy after shoulder surgery?
It is recommended to start shoulder physiotherapy a few days or weeks after shoulder surgery, as per the recommendation of your physiotherapist.