Several strategies you can employ to help speed up your recovery and improve the strength and mobility of your shoulder.
- Follow your doctor’s or physical therapist’s recommendations – It’s crucial to adhere to the treatment plan outlined by your healthcare provider. This may include specific exercises, rest, ice therapy, and possibly medications or other interventions.
- Physical therapy exercises – Performing prescribed physical therapy exercises regularly can help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint, improve range of motion, and promote healing. These exercises may include shoulder stretches, rotator cuff strengthening exercises, and scapular stabilization exercises.
- Rest and avoid aggravating activities – Give your shoulder adequate rest and avoid activities that exacerbate your symptoms or put a strain on the rotator cuff muscles and tendons. This may involve modifying your daily activities or avoiding certain sports or exercises until your shoulder has fully healed.
- Use of ice and heat – Applying ice packs to the affected shoulder can help reduce pain and inflammation, especially in the acute phase of injury. Also, using heat therapy, such as warm compresses or heating pads, can help improve blood flow to the area and promote healing.
- Pain management – Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with a rotator cuff injury. Regardless, it’s necessary to use these medications as directed and consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or if the pain persists.
- Correct posture and ergonomics – Maintaining good posture and proper body mechanics can help alleviate strain on the shoulder joint and prevent further injury. Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, especially when sitting or standing for extended periods, and avoid activities that require repetitive overhead motions if possible.
- Gradual return to activity – Once your shoulder starts to feel better, gradually reintroduce activities and exercises under the guidance of your healthcare provider or physical therapist. Start with low-impact exercises and gradually increase the intensity and duration as tolerated.
- Consider other interventions – In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend additional treatments, such as corticosteroid injections, ultrasound therapy, or in severe cases, surgery. Discuss these options with your provider to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.
Recovery from a rotator cuff injury takes time, and be patient and consistent with your rehabilitation efforts. Rushing the recovery process or returning to activity too soon can potentially worsen the injury and prolong healing time. Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or exercise program.