Physical therapy or physiotherapy for shoulder pain is frequently an effective, non-surgical treatment for rotator cuff tears and other injuries to the muscles encircling the shoulder. It attempts to enhance the mobility and function of your shoulder by strengthening its muscles.
Your healthcare provider or doctor may refer you to a physical therapist to treat your shoulder pain, and the physical therapist will assess your injury and determine the most effective course of treatment.
The treatment will be tailored to help you recover from injury and regain mobility. Your therapist may also guide you on altering your daily activities to support your shoulders better and prevent future injury. In addition, you may be assigned a specific home exercise regimen to help you maintain your mobility once your therapy sessions have concluded.
Depending on the specifics of your shoulder injury, your physical therapist will likely prescribe one or more of the following forms of shoulder therapy.
Ice and heat treatment
The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) protocol recommends cooling acutely injured areas. It aids in reducing inflammation and oedema, which in turn reduces pain. In contrast to ice therapy, which is most effective within the first few hours of an injury, thermal therapy is most effective after 72 hours. Similar to cooling therapy, it relieves pain and relaxes muscles.
Hands-on therapy, as its name implies, requires the physical therapist’s assistance to calm the injured shoulder. The physical therapist applies a direction-specific pressure to the tissue to restore a portion of its natural mobility.
Stretching is a common treatment for shoulder discomfort because it is designed to gradually stretch your muscles until you regain your range of motion. Depending on the nature of the injury, the physical therapist will likely integrate a variety of shoulder, neck, and back stretches of differing intensities.
Strengthening is essentially a synonym for exercise, as the physical therapist may prescribe specific strengthening exercises to reduce discomfort at the injury site and strengthen other muscles, such as the core. The objective is to make you stronger than before the injury to prevent its recurrence.
Joint mobilisation, another form of therapy that requires the assistance of a physical therapist, seeks to increase the mobility of the pained shoulder by stretching the joint capsule. Because it requires a comprehensive comprehension of anatomy, only a trained, professional physical therapist can perform it.
Therapeutic ultrasound, not to be confounded with diagnostic ultrasound, is a form of physical therapy for shoulder pain in which deep heating is applied to the tendons, muscles, and soft tissues. The increased circulation in the injured tissue relieves pain and aids healing. Therapeutic ultrasounds also enhance muscles’ elasticity, particularly in a frozen shoulder, allowing the muscles to stretch more readily, thereby expanding the range of motion.