Shoulder rehab after an
injury will be slightly different for different types of injuries.
Knowing what to expect from your rehab, and what kind of
things you should be doing can help set your mind at ease. It will also
help you make sure that you are covering all of your bases, and that
your athletic trainer
therapist is not overlooking any
component of the rehab process.
are the major areas that should be evaluated and addressed with any
type of shoulder rehabilitation. If you are missing one or more of
areas in your current knee rehab program, talk with your ATC or PT to
find out why, and to make sure you are doing everything for your injury.
of motion in the shoulder
is paramount to normal function. If
move your shoulder, you can't do all of the things that life requires.
Loss of motion is one of the primary complaints after shoulder injury
or shoulder surgery. It is also one of the major obstacles during your
Range of motion loss can usually be
attributed to three
main areas. Pain, muscle weakness, or capsular restrictions. Your ATC
or PT will be able to evaluate your shoulder motion and determine what
is causing your restrictions.
Pain is a major
shoulder range of motion. If your shoulder is painful, your body will
do all that it can to prevent the pain. This usually means restricting
your motion through muscle spasm. If your muscles are in spasm,
especially the upper trapezius, deltoid, and rotator cuff, then it will
be very difficult to move your shoulder through a full range. If you
try to, it will usually increase your pain.
Pain can be addressed in many different ways.
Hot and cold treatments
electrical stimulation, massage, positional release therapy, and low
level joint mobilizations are all ways that pain can be treated. Most
of these are performed during rehab by your ATC or PT.
weakness may lead to shoulder motion loss. If the muscles are not
strong enough to move the arm, you will not be able to achieve full
motion. This is most common after shoulder surgery.
exercises focused on the rotator cuff, scapular stabilizers, and the
deltoid will help to improve your strength and your range of motion.
restrictions are the other factor that can lead to motion loss. This is
common after surgery, but also after injury. Capsular restrictions may
be in the form of excessive scar formation, or in adhesions between the
different layers of tissues in the shoulder. Frozen shoulder is a
common injury involving capsular restrictions. Shoulder
rehab exercises to improve range of motion
activities, assisted exercises, and strengthening.
exercises may be performed by your ATC or PT, or they may have you
doing exercises on your own, like stick range of motion. Wall walks,
and towel slides are other common exercises.
good shoulder rehab program involves strengthening of the shoulder
. The shoulder is a very complex joint. It relies
the muscles, especially the roator cuff and scapular stabilizers in
order to function properly and remain stable.
muscles must be strong enough to do their specific job. If they are
not, you will have compensations, leading to pain or other problems.
rehab exercises should focus on strengthening all four of the rotator
cuff muscles, the scapular stabilizers, as well as the core and lower
is looked at in a different light than range of motion when talking
about shoulder the shoulder. Mobility restrictions in the thoracic
spine and the scapula will directly affect shoulder function, and your
range of motion.
Without proper thoracic extension
rotation, as well as scapular retraction and protraction, you cannot
effectively use your shoulder.
Your shoulder rehab
should involve some type of activities to improve your thoracic and
, as well as your actual shoulder range of
in the shoulder is extremely important. It is what allows the rotator
cuff muscles and the scapular stabilizers to work together efficiently.
communication between the muscles and the joints, and what allows you
to be aware of your body position and movement.
rehab programs must incorporate all of the above areas in order to be
successful. Make sure that you are covering all of these areas in your
program to get the best overall result.
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