Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles surrounding your shoulder consisting of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, sub–scapularis and teres minor muscles. These muscles play a critical role in how your shoulder moves. The rotator cuff guides the direction of the humerus head down and spins so that it clears the bony shelf above the socket called the acromion. When the rotator cuff is weak, the head of the humerus rides up, slamming into the acromion above it.

As we age, tearing of our rotator cuff becomes very common. Sports injuries, falls onto the shoulder or arm, repeat lifting or movements, and poor posture can all cause rotator cuff injuries.

With small tears, physical therapy can dramatically reduce pain and improve function of your rotator cuff. We’ll work with you to improve your shoulder range of motion, restore joint mobility, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and improve the strength of your rotator cuff.

If surgery is needed, we work with your physician to reduce pain, educate you on the protection of surgery repair, and maintain a certain range of motion. Over time, range of motion is increased, and joint mobility and strength is restored.

Towards the end of your therapy, we’ll focus on further shoulder strenghting and completions of its range of motion. During all of this, we’ll collaborate with your physician closely. Call us today to learn more about how we help your rotator cuff perform better and relieve your shoulder pain.

Shoulder Fractures

Fractures in the shoulder typically occur from a fall onto the shoulder itself. Fractures can also occur in elderly patients due to osteoporosis (thinning and weakening of bone).

The goal with fracture management is to provide a safe position for the bone to heal (typically about 8 weeks) while maintaining range of motion. As the bone heals, we can begin strengthening and restoring your shoulder.

Sometimes surgically-planted plates or screws are needed to hold the bone together. This stabilizes the bone, but it also disrupts normal muscle activity and leads to more shoulder weakness. Physical therapy can restore normal range of motion and strength to the shoulder. Recovery times can vary, but typically take 12–16 weeks.

We work closely with you and your physician to make sure your fracture is protected while it heals. We subsequently work closely with you to gradually restore your range of motion, relieve pain, soothe aching muscles and improve your strength.

The goal of physical therapy is to return you to normal activities after the normal course of bone healing. We can prevent long–term damage and address any issues that may have caused a fall onto the arm in the first place.

Shoulder Sprain/Strain

A shoulder sprain / strain typically occurs because the tissue has been overstretched too quickly, resulting in small tissue tears. This causes inflammation, which typically increases with movement and use of the damaged tissue and can cause pain.

The damage from a sprain / strain can be minor or major depending on the severity of the injury, the person’s health, and the person’s age. As we age, our tissue becomes less elastic and becomes more prone to tearing.

Our first focus is on reducing pain and inflammation while maintaining or regaining range of motion. After the inflammatory phase ends the focus shifts to attaining full range of motion and then gradually strengthening the injured areas to regain normal strength. Towards the end of treatment, we concentrate on coordination of the shoulder joint and education about future injury prevention.

Sports Injuries

Whether you are a professional athlete, high school athlete or just like to be active and play sports, injuries can occur. Many shoulder sports injuries occur because of a fall onto an outstretched arm or from repetitive overhead actions, such as swimming, volleyball, tennis and those that involve throwing. Another reason for shoulder sports injuries is an imbalance which can occur in certain groups of the shoulder muscles if one group of muscles is stronger than another. For example, an athlete that has strong chest muscles, but weak rotator cuff muscles can put themselves at risk of injury.

Our physical therapists are experts at caring for and rehabilitating sports injuries. Our goal is to rehabilitate you back to your favorite sports activities pain-free as quickly and safely as possible. Sports injuries require unique care and rehabilitation, therefore, know that you are in the right hands with us. From mild sprains to recovery after surgery, we have you covered.

Shoulder Post-surgery Rehabilitation

There are a variety of shoulder surgeries that may have to be done in order to stabilize the shoulder, repair damaged tendons or ligaments. With the advances in arthroscopic surgery, recovery times for shoulder injuries have improved, however physical therapy is still needed to reduce pain quickly, restore range of motion, improve strength and return the individual to the normal activities they like to do.

Post-surgery recovery can be difficult on sleeping, bathing, dressing and many other normal daily activities we take for granted. Our physical therapists work with you to teach you how to adapt to these activities of daily living while recovering.

Physical therapy focuses on providing you with inflammation and pain control to reduce your pain as quickly as possible while you are recovering. The surgical process can often leave muscles cramped and irritated. Our gentle hands-on therapy is perfect for soothing sore muscles and restoring normal muscle movement.

We work closely with your physician on the correct protocol to rehabilitate your shoulder after surgery. Every person’s surgery is unique and rest assured your recovery is treated as such. According to your protocol, we will help restore your range of motion, increase your strength and help you return to normal activities using your shoulder. Call us today to find out more how we can help you have a complete recovery after shoulder surgery!

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