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What are the Different Types of Shoulder Rehabilitation?

By Carol Francois
Updated May 16, 2024
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There are a number of different types of shoulder rehabilitation options available that can help to reduce pain and restore a range of motion. A shoulder injury is fairly common among athletes and the general public. In general, there are two type of shoulder injury: acute or chronic. The shoulder rehabilitation options available vary, depending on the injury and overall health of the patient.

An acute shoulder injury is caused by a sudden fall, and is the type of injury most commonly seem in the elderly. As the person falls forward, he or she naturally extends the arm forward to break the fall, causing a shock to the shoulder. A chronic shoulder injury is typically caused by poor technique, overuse of a muscle or a combination of the two. This type of injury is often seen in amateur athletes.

Shoulder rehabilitation for a range of motion issue is primarily focused on the decrease of pain and inflammation within the shoulder joint. An initial evaluation is completed through a series of tests to determine the current range of motion and level of inflammation. Cold compresses, anti-inflammatory medication, massage, and positional release therapy are all tools used to control and reduce pain.

Strengthening exercises specifically designed to work the individual muscle groups are usually prescribed by the physical or rehabilitation therapist. The types of exercises required must be completed correctly to yield any benefits. Take the time and make sure that your technique is correct, to speed healing and avoid future injury.

The mobility of the shoulder joint is another essential part of the process. This is separate from range of motion, as it tends to be related to the muscles that connect the shoulder to the back and chest and not just those central to the shoulder. These exercises can be very difficult and may require the assistance of a physical therapist to complete.

Another common type of shoulder rehabilitation focuses on proprioception. This term is used to describe the nerve connections and communication between the joint and muscles. This communication is essential to tell the brain about body position and movement. There are techniques that are used to increase this function, which is often impacted during surgery for a shoulder injury. Shoulder rehabilitation time varies in length, depending upon the type of injury, extent of the damage, and the overall health of the patient. The muscles in the shoulder are big and heavy, and often require longer repairing and healing time than other muscle groups.

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