The shoulder joint is one of the most complicated components of the skeletal system, and with the ability to move in multiple directions, shoulders play an important role in everyday life. Whether you are swinging a baseball bat or reaching overhead to take something out of a cabinet, all of the muscles and connective tissues in your shoulders work together to make a smooth motion.
When you need surgery to repair a torn muscle or damaged tissue, the recovery period can be extra challenging because it has such a significant impact on daily life. This is why it is so important to recover as quickly and completely as possible.
4 Ways to Accelerate Shoulder Surgery Recovery
Your doctor will give specific instructions for the best path to recovery, which might include some or all of the following components:
Pain medication - Immediately after surgery, you will be given medication to reduce pain. While this is usually necessary for a limited period of time, the faster you can eliminate painkillers, the better you will be able to assess your progress and adjust physical activity as necessary. If you are using medication to dull the pain during physical therapy, you might accidentally overdo it and set back your recovery.
Immobilization - Although it might be frustrating to keep your arm in a sling for the prescribed amount of time, it is important to allow your shoulder to rest during the early stages of healing. Introducing movement too soon can disrupt the repair and cause the healing process to last longer. If you want to accelerate your recovery, be patient during the early phases; it will pay off in the long run.
Cold and compression therapy - After shoulder surgery you will experience inflammation. Although this is common, and in fact a natural response, the more you can control it, the faster the healing process will be. Using a combination of cryotherapy and active compression will help reduce swelling, remove edema, and decrease pain. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about adding cold and compression therapy to your recovery strategy.
Physical therapy - The faster you start physical therapy, the more quickly your body will heal. However, it is important not to do too much too soon. Although your shoulder will be immobilized for a period of time, your doctor will probably recommend gentle exercises for your fingers, hand, and wrist as you lead up to therapist-assisted movements of the shoulder joint. Eventually, typically after several weeks, you can do active strengthening exercises to help you return to your previous activity level.
Everybody's healing process is a little different, but if you are actively engaged in your recovery and take steps to accelerate it, your efforts will be rewarded. One of the proactive steps you can take is talking to your doctor about Game Ready. Our patented active cold and compression therapy system allows therapeutic cold to penetrate deeper and last longer, so your body can heal faster. Look for a provider near you to get started.