Physiotherapy for shoulder injuries

Physiotherapy for shoulder injury

The treatment used will depend on the type of injury and the extent of injury.

Rotator Cuff Strain/rupture

Rotator cuff tears are common and if the degree of tear is serious, surgery needs to be performed.  Rotator cuff tendonitis is also a common cause of shoulder pain, initial symptoms include pain with overhead activity and weakness, if left unchecked this can eventually lead to partial or complete tear.  Physiotherapy includes:

·         Restoration of normal movement

·         Rotator cuff strengthening exercises

·         Pain management technique

·         Stretching exercise

·         Advice on appropriate exercise tailored to the individual

Shoulder bursitis

Sometimes called shoulder impingement syndrome, whereby the subacromial bursa is being impinged between muscle and bone, and causes pain when elevating the shoulder, or sleeping on the shoulder.   This injury can be treated by physiotherapist with rest, local strengthening rehabilitative exercises and if the injury is severe other medical interventions may be required.

Dislocated shoulder

The shoulder is placed in a sling and shoulder physio will commence after a few weeks.  Physiotherapy will include:

·         Restoration of normal of movement

·         Soft tissue massage for tight muscles

·         Stretching and strengthening

·         Proprioception exercises

·         Functional rehabilitative exercises

Active physiotherapy rehabilitation is usually started 2 to 3 weeks after immobilisation in a sling.  The goal here would be to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, and hence stability of the joint before focusing on range of movement.

General guide for physiotherapy

Initially apply ice over the injured region (not directly – use ice pack) for around 15 or so minutes.  Physiotherapist will examine the region and know what muscles to target.  Pain relief may be achieved by ultrasound, laser treatment, or faradism (use electric current to stimulate nerve/muscle), these also help with the inflammation.  Mobility exercises should begin early to prevent a “frozen shoulder”, whereby the shoulder mobility is restricted (and could lead to muscle atropy), this can also involve manipulation of the joint involved, tapping is also used to stabilise the shoulder joint.  The exercises involved also target on the prevention of future injuries.  


~ by pcl4 on August 7, 2008.

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