Shoulder physical therapy can be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions, from minor aches and pains to more serious issues such as dislocations and fractures. Commonly, one of the most beneficial types of stretches a physical therapist will provide you with is ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound therapy works on releasing tension and reducing flexibility by targeting tight muscles in the shoulder area. For minor shoulder problems, here are five basic and effective stretches to help relieve shoulder pain that the physical therapist may suggest… Keep in mind, however, that these stretches should be done under the supervision of a physical therapist who can explain their proper execution and safety precautions.
To help relieve minor shoulder conditions, some physical therapists recommend a series of static holds. These hold are done while standing, but are repeated between resting positions. Static holds target specific areas of the shoulder muscle groups and can be helpful in dealing with frozen shoulder conditions. To perform these static holds, simply move the arm’s weight towards your body, making sure your elbow remains bent over and is parallel with the ground.
Another exercise that can be performed by a physical therapist is stabilization exercises. While doing stability exercises, you’ll use free-weights or dumbbells to hold onto a stationary rod. This can be performed in a variety of ways, depending on the severity of your shoulder pain. Keep in mind, though, that you should always make sure that you are using enough weight to do the exercise correctly and never overdoing it.
Another technique that physical therapists commonly used to help relieve shoulder discomfort and condition is massage therapy. Massage therapy usually involves motion-graphics, stretching and manipulation of specific soft tissues in the shoulder area. This is not as extensive as motion therapy, but is often very effective. Some physical therapy sessions may even include ultrasound technology in the treatment. This is very expensive, however, so for most people massage therapy is going to be the primary way they find relief from their symptoms.
If you have moderate to mild shoulder pain, most physical therapists recommend doing some arm circles. Arming the shoulders with the opposite hand and then flexing the arm outward will help stretch out the rotator cuff. Using the similar motion with the opposite hand, but moving the arm inward, will work the supraspinatus muscles. Moving the arm circles a number of times a day will train the shoulder muscles to become strong and more resilient. By doing this on a regular basis, the shoulder will be less likely to become injured or stiff.
Shoulder strengthening exercises are also commonly prescribed by physical therapists. These exercises are geared towards increasing strength and helping to restore range of motion. Shoulder strengthening exercises are often used to prevent further injury from occurring. A good strengthening exercise should be done twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. The exercises should be done slowly, using a number of repetitions. These exercises can be done by either a professional therapist or at home using elastic bands.