Saturday, May 11, 2013

How to Look After a Fractured Shoulder

Caring for a fractured shoulder will entail that you first of all get clear instructions from your orthopedic surgeon and your rehabilitation professional on how to properly care for your injury. By following the instructions that are provided, you can save yourself a lot of discomfort or further injury.

Proper care for a fractured shoulder consists of keeping your pain levels within a reasonable level. This can be done by first of all taking your pain medication as prescribed. Many of the patients I see for various types of shoulder injuries are not compliant with their medications for various reasons. By not taking the pain medication as prescribed will slow down the healing process and cause you unnecessary pain and discomfort.

When you allow your pain to get out of control and it remains constant, it actually slows down your body's healing process. It also will make rehabilitation of your shoulder difficult when you are in pain. When you allow your pain to get out of control, your compliance in caring for your shoulder drops considerably.

Wearing your sling as directed by your doctor will also save you from suffering an increase in pain that can be caused by gravity pulling on the fracture site. It is important during the initial healing process to have the shoulder protected by keeping it elevated with the sling. By keeping your shoulder immobilized as instructed, you will help speed up the healing process. This has been an area I have witnessed where patient compliance can be very inconsistent.

During the care of your fractured shoulder part of the healing process and recovery will include physical therapy.

Your orthopedic doctor will provide your physical therapist and yourself with an exercise protocol to follow. It will be important once medically cleared, to begin gentle passive range of motion exercises to help regain the mobility of your shoulder that was lost due to the immobilization. Once the mobility has improved you will also be instructed on general strengthening exercises to improve the ability of your shoulder to function properly during your activities of daily living.

During the rehabilitation process it is vital that you follow precisely not only the recommendations that your doctor has set forth but, also pay close attention to the information that is given by your rehabilitation professional.

Your ability to remain disciplined not only with the exercises but including the pain control tips during rehab will help you in achieving your prior level of function.

Finally during your care, the biggest problem I see in clients is the ability to remain patient throughout the healing and rehabilitation process. Like many orthopedic injuries, we all begin to feel better and in our minds feel that the whole process of recovery should be going faster. This can be your biggest obstacle to slowing your recovery.

Allow yourself to fully recover by following the advice of the medical personal, take your pain medication as prescribed after the initial injury and allow the fracture site to properly heal by protecting your injured shoulder.

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