NYC's Premier Medi-Spa & Wellness Centers Manhattan Total Health is a full service Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation facility with 5 NYC locations.
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What to Expect in Physical Therapy After Shoulder Surgery

Patients with severe shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears, often work with a physical therapist during an initial course of noninvasive treatment. This is because doctors prefer to treat injuries without resorting to surgery whenever possible. If your injury doesn’t respond well to nonsurgical treatments, you’ll receive a comprehensive rehabilitation plan after your surgery, and this plan will include physical therapy to support your recovery.

Non-Shoulder Movement

Physical therapy can start soon after shoulder surgery, but it won’t involve strenuous activities until you’re further along in the recovery process. Initially, you’ll generate movement in the affected arm, while keeping the shoulder still. This is accomplished with flexing exercises of the wrist and elbow. You can also expect to do pendulum exercises, which involve the following steps:

  • Stand next to a table, placing your unaffected hand on it for support.
  • Bend at the waist so the upper body is parallel to the floor.
  • Let the affected arm hang down naturally.
  • Move your body in a circular fashion to cause the affected arm to move in circles.

Passive Movement

The next stage in your recovery involves passive movement exercises. Passive movement helps keep the shoulder joint flexible, without requiring the area to do any of the work. The physical therapist will gently move your arm in specific ways. Don’t hesitate to give feedback about any discomfort you experience. Later on, you may be shown how to do assisted exercises by yourself, using your unaffected arm to support the other arm.

Range of Motion

When the doctor determines the shoulder is healed enough to generate active movement, you’ll start working on range of motion exercises. Your physical therapist might show you how to do shoulder abduction exercises, and internal and external rotation exercises.

Strength Training

Usually, patients begin gentle strength training exercises at around the same time that they start range of motion exercises. You’ll likely use elastic bands and light dumbbells initially. Once you’re fully recovered, you can begin building strength more aggressively.

At Manhattan Total Health, we firmly believe in the body’s ability to rehabilitate itself with the right program of physiatry, physical therapy, and massage. You can receive complete care for your rotator cuff tear at our locations in New York, NY. Call us today at (888) 614-9257.

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