Is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery painful?

Is Physical Therapy After Rotator Cuff Surgery Painful

Anytime someone injures their rotator cuff or has surgery on it, they can expect a certain amount of pain. One of the primary goals of surgery and physical therapy is to help people treat their rotator cuff pain. Of course, surgery can lead to pain even after it’s over. But what about physical therapy? Is physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery painful? 

Four things you should know about physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery and pain

“Physical therapy is painful after rotator cuff surgery.” That may be the rumor that you’ve heard, and it may be keeping you from going to post-surgical rehab. However, this rumor is exactly that for most people: a rumor. The fact is that research shows physical therapy is up to 92% effective at helping people heal after a rotator cuff injury. Here are four other things you should know about pain and physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery: 

  1. It’s not designed to be painful — There is almost always some discomfort when moving a healing rotator cuff. This is often true even after you’re ready to start physical therapy. However, physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery isn’t designed to be painful. If you are feeling pain, you should let your physical therapist know immediately. 
  1. Physical therapists will check in with you to see if you’re in pain — Even if you don’t say you’re in pain, your physical therapist will still check. They may ask you to tell them if you have pain while you’re working with them. In addition, your physical therapist may ask you to keep track of any things you do at home that trigger pain. Even if they aren’t physical therapy related. 
  1. You can and should stop any technique that leads to pain — Your physical therapist doesn’t want you to keep doing something that’s painful. That’s one reason why you can and should stop doing any technique or movement that is overly painful. Keep in mind: A little discomfort is often normal; severe pain is not. 
  1. Physical therapists can modify your treatment plan to reduce risk of pain — You may be worried about not using a painful physical therapy technique. But you shouldn’t be. Physical therapists have many techniques at their disposal. This means they can often substitute a different technique for the painful one. Your clinician can also modify specific exercises or techniques to help reduce the level of discomfort they cause. 

Physical therapy can reduce pain after rotator cuff surgery at Franklin Rehab

Keen to find physical therapy after rotator cuff surgery that is designed to ease pain? Our team at Franklin Rehabilitation is primed to help you find what you’re looking for. We offer free screenings that can assess your pain level before you begin your post-surgical rehab. Our clinicians are also experienced at creating personalized rehab plans for each patient, and these plans are designed to: 

  • Reduce pain. 
  • Speed up healing. 
  • Improve shoulder flexibility and function.
  • Slash your risk of future rotator cuff injuries. 

Contact our team today for more information about our post-surgical rehab services or to schedule an initial appointment to start getting our help after surgery.