Shoulder pain can affect the way you function in everyday life. Whether you have problems during exercise, reaching for something, or simply putting on your shirt, you want an effective treatment that’s going to improve your condition. Physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatment options you have available to you.
Five Ways Physical Therapists Help Treat Your Pain
1. Ice & Heat Therapy
If your pain is recent and stems from an aggravated injury, ice and therapy can work very well. Ice therapy helps reduce the initial inflammation and can reduce pain. Again, it’s best used when the injury is recent.
For the most part, physical therapists will use heat therapy. Heat therapy will help reduce the pain and allow the muscles to relax. It will also help improve blood flow to the area surrounding your muscles.
Over time, heat therapy can help increase your mobility and accelerate the healing process if done regularly. Usually, heat therapy is combined with other treatments to achieve the best results.
One thing that shoulder injuries usually result in is a decreased range of motion. You aren’t able to stretch out your shoulder as you could do before the onset of your shoulder problem. This can be remedied with the help of stretching exercises.
The physical therapist will gently help you push your muscles around your shoulders and help with joint mobilization. This will help you regain your range of motion over several treatments. It’s recommended that you don’t try to do the stretching exercises yourself as it can lead to further injuries.
The physical therapist will usually teach you a few exercises you can do at home to help improve your condition. These are the only shoulder stretching exercises you should engage in.
3. Electrical Stimulation
In some cases, the muscles and joints may have become too stiff or painful for movement. This is when electrical stimulation can help. Electrodes are placed around the affected area, and electrical signals are sent over some time.
The stimulation creates muscle contraction and improved blood flow. Over multiple treatments, the treatment can help repair injured muscles and joints. It is one of the least painful therapies and is often used with the other treatment options.
4. Ultrasound Therapy
Another common treatment used in physiotherapy is ultrasound. Ultrasound therapy uses deep heating to help penetrate the skin and reach the tendons, ligaments, joints, and inner muscles. Results are best when ultrasound therapy is done repeatedly.
Your physical therapist will usually apply some conductive gel to the area that needs to be treated. After the gel is applied, the ultrasound device will be used around the affected area. There is very little pain, and you should heat a bit of heat when the machine is used.
5. Muscle Strengthening
One type of therapy that often gets overlooked is exercising to strengthen muscles. You have to understand that the muscles around your shoulder area are supporting your shoulders. This is why your physical therapist may help you learn exercises to strengthen muscles around the affected area.
When your muscles get stronger, you’ll be less resistant to future injuries and pain. The exercises are very specific to the shoulder, and you’ll be given training on how to repeat them by yourself at home.
Overall, physiotherapy is a great option to pursue before you opt for surgery. In some cases, it can be a substitute for invasive shoulder surgery. Even after shoulder surgery, it’s recommended that you see a physical therapist to regain your range of motion and strengthen your muscles for future injury prevention.