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Is Physical Therapy Recommended for Shoulder Sprain?

People looking for relief from shoulder sprain often ask the question: is physical therapy recommended for shoulder sprain? The answer to this question lies in first looking into the causes of the condition.

Causes and Symptoms of Shoulder Sprain

Shoulder sprain results from an injury to the soft tissues or ligaments that connect with the bones around the joint. In most cases, a fall, a direct blow to the region or a forced twist of the arm beyond its normal range of motion causes this condition. Other possibilities can be a poor posture maintained by the stressed arm for a prolonged period.

Apart from decreased ability to move the affected arm, one experiences significant pain with tenderness and swelling. The treatment for shoulder sprain involves sufficient rest, cold compresses, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain and most importantly – physical therapy.

The Necessity of Physical Therapy for Recovery

Physical therapy plays a vital role in treating a sprained shoulder. It helps to ease stiffness and pain which arises from the growth of new tissues. Physiotherapists help patients perform gentle exercises that speed up the healing process by restoring flexibility, range of motion and strength to the injured shoulder. They monitor the exercise program to make sure that the exercises are carried out in a safe manner so as to avoid stress or injury that could delay the healing process. Some of the exercises that help patients with shoulder sprain are:

  • Stretching exercises – relieves muscle tension and maintains flexibility
  • Rotator cuff exercises – strengthens the rotator cuff muscles and stabilizes the shoulder

Therapeutic exercises are not recommended soon after the onset of the injury as it can cause further damage. Hence, it is delayed until the shoulder has healed. Some of the exercises can be performed at home.

Why Physical Therapy is recommended for Shoulder Sprain

  • Prevents further injuries to the shoulder
  • Increases blood circulation for fast healing
  • Enhances flexibility to gradually restore full range of motion
  • Helps in pain management

Most patients with mild to moderate shoulder sprains show improvement in a few weeks time. If the pain is severe, it would require a more intensive physical therapy rehabilitation program with advanced forms of exercise to promote faster healing.

If shoulder sprain is neglected, the condition aggravates and hampers day-to-day activities. In some cases, the lack of strength in the ligaments and muscles could lead to connective tissue disorders that cause loose joints or connective tissue disorders.

Where to Undergo Treatment?

There are therefore many reasons why physical therapy is recommended for shoulder pain. When it comes to treatment, the best care you can get for shoulder sprain is at multi-specialty pain management centers that use a multidisciplinary approach. The condition would be looked into by a team of experienced orthopedists and physical therapists that offers proper diagnosis and formulates effective treatment plans.