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The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating Shoulder Injuries in Athletes

Home News & Videos JAG Physical Therapy Blog The Role of Physical Therapy in Treating Shoulder Injuries in Athletes

Shoulder injury physical therapy can help athletes with a variety of issues. It’s especially beneficial to athletes who practice sports such as swimming, volleyball, and baseball.

Typical injuries include rotator cuff tear (injury to the group of muscles and tendons that supports the shoulder joint), shoulder impingement (when your rotator cuff rubs against the top of your shoulder blade), and labral tear (tear to the tissue that keeps the ball of the shoulder joint in place).

In this article, we’ll discover how physical therapy can treat and rehabilitate shoulder injuries in athletes. We’ll also discuss the advantages of shoulder injury physical therapy and what to expect from a rehabilitation program.

How Does Physical Therapy Help in Treating Shoulder Injuries?

If you’ve been affected by a shoulder injury, your physical therapist will devise a customized rehabilitation program. This may include one or more techniques and modalities to help you recover and regain mobility.

These include:

  • Manual therapy — Here, your therapist applies targeted pressure around the shoulder area to ease pressure and aid mobility.
  • Therapeutic exercises — These are shoulder-specific exercises your therapist teaches you. You may carry these out during your appointment and at home as part of your customized rehabilitation program.
  • Ultrasound treatment — This involves applying heat via therapeutic ultrasound to the soft tissue, muscles, and tendons around the shoulder. This improves circulation in this area, which in turn relieves pain, and stimulates healing and mobility.
  • Electrical stimulation — A safe electrical current is applied to the affected area via electrodes. This helps provide relief for pain and inflammation and aids weak muscles.

These are just a few of the treatments that your physical therapist may offer you. Know that at JAG Physical Therapy, we use a range of techniques to offer our patients the best possible outcome. Our aim is to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and restore strength and function to the injured shoulder.

What Are the Benefits of Physical Therapy for Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation?

Shoulder injury physical therapy provides a whole range of benefits. Not only does it address immediate issues associated with a shoulder injury such as pain or inflammation, but it may also use techniques to stimulate the body to heal itself.

And targeted exercises can help strengthen the muscles and prevent imbalances, reducing the risk of recurrent injuries.

For example, baseball players are prone to rotator cuff tear injuries due to the throwing motions they practice in their sport. A physical therapy program will include specific exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. This addresses the immediate problem and ensures the athlete stays fit for the rest of the season.

At JAG PT, a rehabilitation program can be tailored to any sport or injury, ensuring recovery and reduced risk of future injuries. Ready to get back in the game? Book your appointment now with one of our expert therapists.

What Should Athletes Expect During Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation?

A shoulder injury rehabilitation program starts with an assessment by your physical therapist. This helps them understand your injury, your health status, and your lifestyle.

Your therapist will carry out a physical examination to assess factors such as your strength and range of motion.

They will then discuss your objectives to inform a tailored rehab program, setting goals and a timeline to achieve these. For sportspeople, their ultimate goal is usually to return to the activity they love at the same level as before their injury.

Treatment may start straight away or at the next appointment. It may include a combination of therapeutic modalities like ultrasound, hands-on treatment, and targeted exercises.

Your therapist will advise how frequently you should come for appointments and what work you can do at home to aid your recovery.

Programs may typically take between four and six weeks, although this timeline could be shorter or longer depending on the case.

You should be able to return to your sport once you’ve been signed off by your therapist.

Experience Comprehensive Shoulder Injury Rehabilitation at JAG Physical Therapy

At JAG Physical Therapy, our team of experienced therapists offers specialized shoulder injury rehabilitation services tailored to athletes’ specific needs and sport demands.

If you have a shoulder injury and are keen to get back to your sport, schedule a consultation with us. We’ll be here by your side, empowering you to heal and regain your strength and mobility so you can live life to the full once again.

You can also learn more about physical therapy for shoulder injuries right here.