Shoulder impingement is a common condition that occurs when the soft tissues of the shoulder, such as tendons and ligaments, become pinched or compressed. This can result in postoperative discomfort, weakness, and limited range of motion. After surgery for shoulder impingement, it is important to seek out a physiotherapist for instructions for rehabilitation and physical therapy in order to ensure the best possible outcome.
Typically, the rehabilitation process begins with a passive range of motion exercises, which involve moving the arm with the help of a therapist. As you progress, you will gradually start to perform more active exercises, such as weightlifting, to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder. Your physical therapist will also work with you on improving your posture, as well as any other factors that may have contributed to the impingement. Physio Bangkok has seen a trend in how this develops over a period of weeks
Regaining range of motion in the shoulder after impingement surgery is an important part of the rehabilitation process. Here are some tips that can help:
Stage 1: first 2 weeks
Start with passive range of motion exercises: After surgery, you will typically begin with passive range of motion exercises, where a therapist from Physio Bangkok to help move your arm. As you progress, you will gradually start to perform more active exercises on your own.
Recommended movement: shoulder flexion, external and internal rotation, isometric and pendulums exercises.
Stage 2: 2 -4 weeks
Gradually increase the intensity of your exercises: To avoid reinjuring your shoulder, it’s important to progress gradually in your rehabilitation program. As you start to see improvement in your range of motion, you can gradually increase the intensity of your exercises.
Recommended movement: increased shoulder flexion, external and internal rotation up to a 45-degree angle, increasing in length and range of motion of isometric and pendulums exercises.
Stage 3: 4 – 6 weeks
On average, a client is able to move into a full range of motion.
Full bilateral range of motion refers to the ability to move both arms through their full range of motion without pain or restriction. After shoulder impingement surgery, regaining full bilateral range of motion depends on several factors, such as the severity of the impingement, the type of surgery performed, and the individual’s overall health and age.
Recommended movement: full shoulder flexion, external and internal rotation up to a 90-degree angle, increasing in length and force through biceps – triceps curls, and wall pushes. The use of mobility tools – such as a theraband – may be included by the therapist.
Stage 4: 6 – 8 weeks
Similar to stage 3, the therapists will continue on working on maintaining a full range of motion without pain and being able to return to daily tasks without any major issues. To help achieve full bilateral range of motion, it is important to follow your physical therapy plan and to gradually increase the intensity of your exercises over time. Your physical therapist may also use manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilisation and soft tissue massage, to help improve your range of motion.
Recommended movement: Strengthening deltoid and shoulder muscles, scapula/shoulder blade region and more unilateral movement exercises on shoulder joint
Final stage: 8+ weeks
The final stage of rehabilitation after shoulder impingement surgery is typically focused on regaining full strength, range of motion, and normal functional abilities. This stage usually involves a gradual transition from rehabilitation exercises to more sport-specific or work-related activities. You may start to gradually return to your normal activities, such as driving, reaching overhead, and sleeping on your affected side.
Recommended movements: you may start to perform resistance exercises/strength training to build strength in your shoulder, including exercises to target the rotator cuff and scapular stabilising muscles.
In addition to physical therapy, there are several self-care strategies that you can use to help improve your range of motion, such as:
- Stretching regularly without pain or discomfort: Stretching can help to improve flexibility and increase your range of motion;
- Keeping the shoulder mobile : Avoiding prolonged periods of immobility, and engaging in activities that help to keep your shoulder mobile, such as swimming or cycling, can help to improve your range of motion.
- Maintaining good posture: Good posture can help to reduce strain on the shoulder and improve your range of motion.
- Managing pain: If you are experiencing pain, it’s important to work with your physical therapist to manage it, as pain can limit your ability to move your arm through its full range of motion.
It’s important to remember that regaining full bilateral range of motion takes time and patience, and it’s important to be persistent with your rehabilitation program in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Also worth taking into account is that every person’s recovery process is unique, and regaining range of motion may take several weeks or months. It’s important to be patient and persistent with your rehabilitation program in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Overall, the success of your rehabilitation will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the impingement, the type of surgery performed, and your overall health and age.
By following Physio Bangkok’s instructions and working closely with our team of rehabilitation specialists in Bangkok, you can help to ensure that your shoulder recovers as fully as possible after surgery.