The amount of time it takes to recover from a shoulder surgery can depend on many factors, but whether you had a total shoulder replacement or a minimally invasive surgery, there are some tips you can follow to help speed up the recover process. We’ve compiled a list of the best tips so that you can get back to normal life faster after having a shoulder surgery.
Understand What the Different Phases of Shoulder Recovery Are
Immobilization: This stage happens right after surgery. In this stage, it’s super important to keep your shoulder in the sling and keep movement to a minimum. Although it can be easy to become impatient with the lack of movement, staying immobilized during this stage will help speed up your recovery later on. This stage can last for up to 3 weeks or longer.
Passive Exercise: This stage typically occurs about 3 weeks after surgery. Using tools like a shoulder pulley are important during this stage. These types of tools help you start to move the arm again without putting strain on the muscles that need to heal. Passive exercises help to increase blood flow to the joint which helps speed up the healing process. Shop Shoulder Pulleys
Active Exercise: This stage usually happens a few months after surgery. This stage begins to utilize the muscles again and rebuild strength. Tubing and banding can be used to complete the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist. Shop Strengthening Tools
Eliminate Pain Medication as Quickly as Possible
There is going to be pain and discomfort after your shoulder surgery, however, it is important that pain medications not be used for too long, especially when starting to complete physical therapy. Pain medications can mask what you are feeling while doing passive or active range of motion exercises. This creates the risk of re-tearing muscles that would slow down your recovery time.
Do The Physical Therapy
This piece of advice may sound obvious at first, but so many patients take longer to recover because they simply do not stay consistent with doing their physical therapy exercises. Physical therapy can be painful at times, but it is so important to get the shoulder and arm moving again after surgery. Doing physical therapy consistently will ensure you stay on the path toward recovery. Getting an all-in-one shoulder kit can help you make sure you have all the tools to stay consistent in your physical therapy. Buy Your Shoulder Kit Pro
Avoid Certain Sleeping Positions
Sleeping in an upright position immediately after surgery can help significantly with recovery. Sleeping upright helps relieve pressure from the shoulder that would happen if you are laying down flat. You can use pillows to prop you up, or many patients prefer to sleep in a reclining arm chair to hold themselves upright.
Know that Recovery Times Can Vary
Every person and their recovery times are different. While it’s important to keep these best practices in mind as you move along the road of recovery, don’t become discouraged by feeling like you’re not “far along enough”. Mentality has a huge impact on a person’s healing process, so maintaining a positive attitude is key to speeding up the healing process.
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