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Physical Therapy Shoulder



Our shoulder is the most flexible joint in our human body. This is because the anatomical structure of this joint enables it to have a wide amount of freedom or range of motion. In order for one to function completely in sports activities, it’s important to be able to move the joint in a wide variety of directions. However, when there is increased mobility of the particular joint, problems pertaining to that area will tend to occur more often. Anyone can experience such problems, from active young children to the old. Athletes, especially tennis players are very prone to it because of the repetitive forces they use along with the various strokes such as the serve, overhead smash, high forehand and backhand volley. Many individuals develop pain from the wear and tear of routine activities and in their specific occupations after the age of 25 are even more prone to problems in that area.

Early treatment is crucial. It’s natural to react to pain by keep the limb involved immobile when you experience pain in that area. However, this could lead to complete loss of mobility. The doctor will normally refer you to a therapist and they will design an exercise program to keep your arms in motion. Therefore, physical therapy is very important in the healing of the injuries. These stretching routines consist of exercises to preserve motion, and restriction of activities to prevent further wear and arthritic flare-ups.


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There are several useful treatments to help in healing shoulder injuries. Prior to doing these exercises, it’s recommended to take a warm shower for ten to fifteen minutes. The heat can help prepare the tissues for stretching. Stretching exercises help restore the flexibility of the joint. One of the stretching exercises which is called the pendulum stretch exercise, 5 to 10 pound weights are held in the hand while swinging the hand back and forth in a small diameter circle. The diameter of the circle can be increased when the conditions improve. This stretching exercise should be performed after a warm shower for five minutes once or twice a day.

Passive stretching exercises are performed after the pendulum stretch exercises. These exercises consist of “armpit stretch”, “finger walk” and “towel stretch”. These exercises, performed once or twice a day for several months, should further loosen the tightened shoulder lining and restore normal range of motion. The goal of these exercises is to stretch the limbs to the point of tension, but not pain.

Muscle toning exercises are essential to restore any lost muscle strength and they should be performed after the initial shoulder pain is resolved. Flexible rubber tubing, bungee cords, or large rubber bands are used for these exercises. These muscle toning exercises consist of outward rotation exercises, inward rotation exercises and lifting exercise. Mild soreness might occur when you do these exercises. Stop these exercises of a few days if sharp or severe pain occurs as these might indicate a flare of the underlying problem. Anyone can suffer from such pain thus it is important to know the various treatment approaches used. Physical therapy approaches, like stretching exercises and muscle toning exercises, are often used by therapists to help patients heal their pain.

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