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If you have had shoulder surgery, you may benefit from the skilled services of a Palmdale Physical Therapist to help you in improve your shoulder mobility and strength and lower your pain.

Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist will generally work with you to assist in helping you return to your premier level of function and activity after any type of surgery.

Common types of shoulder surgeries that may need physical therapy include:

  • Rotator cuff repair
  • Labrum repair
  • Proximal humeral fracture reduction
  • Clavicle fracture reduction
  • Biceps tendon repair
  • Subacromial decompression

Each of these surgeries carries with it specific treatments and techniques to safely achieve the best outcome.

Some variables of a physical therapy program remain the same throughout; the basic goals during rehab after shoulder surgery are to safely improve range of motion (ROM), strength, and overall functional use of your arm. Your Palmdale Physical Therapist can help you accomplish those goals.

Here is a list of some of the things that you may work on with your Palmdale Physical Therapist after shoulder surgery. The list begins with basic passive motions and progresses in difficulty and stress as you go through your shoulder rehab.

Now, this list does not replace the advice of your doctor or your local Palmdale Physical Therapist. You must check with your doctor prior to starting these, or any other exercises after shoulder surgery.

Passive Shoulder Range of Motion Exercises

In the first couple of days and weeks after your shoulder surgery, you should be able to begin your rehabilitation with your physical therapist.

Your local Palmdale Physical Therapy will show you how to don and doff your sling, and passive ROM exercises for your shoulder can be started.  Gentle pendulum exercises can be used to relax your shoulder muscles and keep your shoulder joint moving properly.

While wearing your sling, you may discover that the muscles of your forearm and wrist or hand feel like they are getting a bit weak. Your Palmdale Physical Therapist may have you perform some putty squeeze exercises to keep your hand and forearm muscles working properly as your shoulder heals.

You may use a pulley system in the Physical Therapist clinic to help improve your shoulder ROM through flexion, abduction, and internal rotation.

Using a pulley system at home may be necessary. Your Palmdale Physical Therapist may be able to lend you a shoulder pulley, or you can make one yourself with some basic hardware store items.

Active Range of Motion Exercises

Once you start achieving full or near full passive ROM in your shoulder, your local Palmdale Physical Therapist may have you start active ROM exercises.

These exercises are designed to get your shoulder and rotator cuff muscles contracting enough to move your arm and shoulder through its full range motion.

Don’t overthink if you initially find moving your arm a bit hard; your shoulder has been in a sling and as of late as undergone the trauma of surgery.

Your rotator cuff and deltoid muscles have not been called into action recently, so they may not be able to completely raise your arm. As you practice the active ROM exercises, you should discover that your shoulder and arm function generally in a few short days.

Shoulder Rotator Cuff Strengthening Exercises

Once you have improved the passive and active ROM in your shoulder, it will be time to add a bit of resistance to your shoulder exercises. You can use a resistance band to begin rotator cuff strengthening.

Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist should be able to give you a resistance band. The bands are color-coded based on the amount of tension each band provides.

Additionally, you can use a small dumbbell to add resistance to your active range of motion exercises.

After surgery, it is essential to start light and slowly increase the sets and repetitions of each exercise before adding additional weight to the exercise. Your local Palmdale Physical Therapist will help you progress through your shoulder and rotator cuff strengthening program.