Almost anything we do in our day to day routines requires us to use our arms, which in turn means we are using our shoulders. If you get a shoulder injury, it can nearly incapacitate you and leave you feeling helpless, and if you have to get shoulder surgery, no matter how major, you are going to experience quite a bit of discomfort and recovery is going to be difficult. One of the key things to getting back to normal after having shoulder surgery is staying on top of physical therapy. Below is a guide to the kind of rehab exercises you can expect to need to do after your operation to ensure that you heal fully, quickly, and come out on the other side stronger than ever.
1.) Flexing lower arm muscles
For a few weeks after your operation, it is going to be very important that you don’t allow you shoulder to move at all as it needs to be still to allow the incision and surgery site to heal. Even when keeping it still, you need to make sure that you start your rehab exercises as soon ad the doctor tells you to. These very first exercises will include flexing your wrists, your elbows, and your arms. This will help keep all of the muscles and tendons warm and loose and keep them from locking up or forming scar tissue which can make recovery much harder.
2.) Beginning passive movements with a physical therapist
After a few days or weeks depending on how intrusive your operation was, you will begin to see your physical therapist who will be doing some passive movements on your shoulder. This means that they will work to move your arm gradually in different angles getting just a little bit bigger a little at a time until you have the full range of motion once again.
3.) Strengthening your muscles back up
Your shoulder needs to get its strength back so that you can live life normally and do normal things like lifting light items, moving things around, holding your arm up for an extended amount of time. etc. You will start your strength rehab by supporting your arm on its own until its strong, moving on to free light dumbbell weights or elastic bands for added resistance. After getting it strong for about 4 months, you will start moving up to things that are a little more strenuous like push-ups and other upper arm workouts.
When you start your therapy, remember that while it is important to work at your therapy program and to do your exercises regularly, it is equally as important to make sure you rest your arm and give it time to get better. It is important to be as patient as possible and allow the shoulder to heal over time and to make sure you get professional help so that the healing process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
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