In order to ensure proper recovery, one must engage in a thorough post operative surgery exercise program. The patient must make the exercises a priority in order to minimize any delays in recovery. Stretching and strengthening exercises should be incorporated into the exercise regimen, as soon as possible, post operative. However, it is essential to consult a physician before engaging in any post operative exercise to ensure that an appropriate regimen is selected. A physician will typically supervise the initial stages of rehabilitation to ensure that the proper muscles are being targeted and that no additional stress or damage are being added to the current injury.
Importance of Shoulder ExercisesAdhesive Capsulitis or frozen shoulder is one common occurrence after shoulder surgery. The risk of developing this condition increases in patients after prolonged immobilization in the region, which is common post-operative.
Thus there are two reasons that shoulder exercises are important post operative.1) Flexibility. Flexibility is key to avoid a limited range of motion without pain or stiffness post operative. Many common tasks such as combing the hair, bathing the back, and other tasks are difficult without a certain degree of flexibility.
2) Strengthening. Strengthening exercises decrease the likelihood of repeat injury to the area. The rotator cuff muscle of the shoulder is most susceptible to injury and inflammation. Therefore, the patient must exercise caution as to not cause undue stress to this shoulder muscle. Aggravation of the injury may occur if the exercises are performed improperly.
A list of various post operative exercises are listed below. Specifics can be found in the physical therapy section of this article:
- - PENDULUM EXERCISE
- - SHOULDER FLEXION (Assistive)
- - SUPPORTED SHOULDER ROTATION
- - WALK UP EXERCISE (ACTIVE)
- - SHOULDER INTERNAL ROTATION (ACTIVE)
- - SHOULDER ABDUCTION
- - SHOULDER FLEXION
- - SHOULDER EXTENSION (ISOMETRIC)
- - SHOULDER EXTERNAL ROTATION (ISOMETRIC)
- - SHOULDER INTERNAL ROTATION (ISOMETRIC)
- - SHOULDER EXTERNAL ROTATION
- - SHOULDER ABDUCTION
Physical TherapyPhysical therapists can assist in the recovery and rehabilitation of a patient by implementing a stretching and exercise regimen. Under the guidance of a physical therapist, ultrasound, ice, heat and other treatments can be incorporated into the regimen to accelerate the rehabilitation process. Even with the aid of the physical therapist , its still important to adhere to the prescribed post operative exercise program independently two to three times daily.
At HomeThe importance of strengthening and stretching exercises in the rehabilitation process is essential for recovery. The patient must perform these exercises at least two to three times daily to ensure proper recovery and restore complete mobility.
To aid in the flexibility aspect of the exercises one may also apply a moist, hot towel to the shoulder region to relax the muscle prior to performing the exercises.
Anti Inflammatory Medications and Cortisone Injections
While anti-inflammatory medications have not been traditionally effective in altering the symptoms of common shoulder injuries, these medications, as well as cortisone injections have aided in reducing pain to allow for ease of the post operative exercise.