I know at least two clients who have had this injury, and I think it’s fair to say patience is a virtue we often lose when we are keen to get back to exercise. Here’s some tips on how to make sure your shoulder gets better and stays better.
A physical therapy and rehabilitation (rehab) program usually involves exercises to stretch and gradually strengthen the shoulder. Some physical therapists may use other techniques, such as massage or ultrasound, to relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms.
Common difficulties with rehab programs include:
- Impatience during the long periods of rest needed to let your shoulder heal. Athletes and people whose jobs depend upon the use of their arms may find it hard to be patient with this stage of treatment.
- Not doing exercises as often as prescribed.
- Using incorrect technique when doing exercises.
Although completing a rehab program may be hard, a successful outcome depends on your commitment to treatment. If you follow your physical therapy plan closely and get help when you need it, you are more likely to restore shoulder strength and movement.
Exercises for rotator cuff disorders include:
Gentle stretching exercises. These are often the most important part of physical therapy for rotator cuff disorders, especially when stiffness is a major symptom. Stretching includes range-of-motion exercises.
In general, you won’t start these exercises until your rotator cuff has healed and is able to perform the stretching and range-of-motion exercises comfortably. Strengthening exercises can help you build and keep shoulder function and stability.