How your physiotherapist can help

A physiotherapist trained in the musculoskeletal part of physiotherapy plays an important role in the accurate diagnosis and treatment of painful shoulder.

Physiotherapy treatment can be divided in two stages: the acute stage and the recovery or rehabilitation stage.

The acute physiotherapy stage

During this stage your physiotherapist can make use of different electrical modalities, such as the use of low-level laser to treat the inflammation in the joint and tendon/s.

Dry needling can be used to release tight muscles surrounding the glenohumeral joint.

Mobilisation of the tight glenohumeral joint, cervical and thoracic spine can be done using specialised mobilisation techniques.

The recovery/rehabilitation stage

During this stage strengthening of the muscles of the scapulothoracic joint will be done.

Strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles can also be done.

A stretching regime for all the musculature surrounding the scapulohumeral complex will be done.

Sport-specific training will be done for all athletes returning to sporting activities. With sport-specific training it is very important to rehabilitate the whole kinetic chain and not only the shoulder complex.

Your physiotherapist will also provide advice on how to apply ergonomics to your daily activities.

Surgery – the final option

People not responding to physiotherapy treatment will then be referred to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Treatment options may include:

  • Cortisone injections into the capsule or rotator cuff muscles
  • Surgery for repair of the torn rotator cuff muscles
  • A shoulder replacement prosthesis may be considered in severe osteoarthritic cases.
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