Physiotherapy for Shoulder Injuries


Shoulder injuries can happen to anyone, especially in those who participate in sports. Sports shoulder injuries can happen during a fall; direct blow to the shoulder; overuse injuries; or the shoulder is forcefully driven out of connection. The condition can occur in non-contact and contact sports.

Types of Shoulder Injuries

There are many types of shoulder injuries in sports depending on the specific structure/s involved at the time of injury. The following are some of the common sports shoulder injuries

Because of lack of shoulder use for a long time due to pain or injury, shoulder movements can become stiff and limited leading to frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis.

Physiotherapy for Shoulder Injuries

During your first visit to your physiotherapist for your shoulder injury, your therapist will likely be asking about your activity that led to your injury and any other medical history that may be related to your condition. He or she will then conduct a thorough physiotherapy evaluation and examination of your shoulder.

Your physiotherapist will then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan specifically made for you based on your specific needs and goals.

Physiotherapy Treatment Options for Shoulder Injuries

The type of physiotherapy treatments that you will receive depends on the specific condition that you have and whether you’ve undergone surgery or not. In addition, your physiotherapist will likely ask about your goals for rehabilitation.

Physiotherapy treatments for shoulder injuries may be composed of a combination of any of the following
  • Cold therapy (ice pack application/ice massage)
  • Hot pack application
  • Immobilization (splinting/bandaging)
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Ultrasound (US)
  • Soft tissue mobilization (massage)
  • Shoulder joint mobilization
  • Physiotherapy exercises
    • Range of motion exercises
    • Stretching or flexibility exercises
    • General conditioning exercises
    • Shoulder muscles strengthening exercises
  • Patient education
    • About the patient’s particular shoulder problem
    • Precautions and activity modification
    • Self-care of symptoms
    • Wound self-care (after surgery)
    • Home exercise program
    • Shoulder injury prevention
  • Return to work or sports rehabilitation program

Again, the type of treatment that you will receive will depend on your specific injury and not all of the treatment interventions enumerated above will be provided to you in one visit. Only your doctor or physiotherapist will be able to determine the appropriate treatment for you.

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