Returning to Life After Shoulder Surgery- The Long Haul

When discussing surgical vs. nonoperative treatment for shoulder injuries, one of the most pressing issues involves recovery time and how long patients will have to wait before they resume their desired daily activities, including working out.

The transition from physical therapy to an unsupervised home workout program can seem very daunting for many patients, particularly those who have extended periods of immobilization after surgery or extensive soft tissue reconstruction performed. For example, Total Shoulder Replacement or Reverse Shoulder Replacement.

In these cases, the step “up” from physical therapy to exercises in the gym may seem to pose an obstacle to many patients, resulting in a lower likelihood of maintaining the strength and functional gains garnered from weeks or months of physical therapy.

For this reason, the staff and the Shoulder and Elbow Center try and offer a multitude of resources to assist patients in returning to their own post-operative strengthening programs, and we are thrilled to share a new one with you today! started as a tactical and functional fitness website run by 2 physicians, and has since grown to encompass a significant point of intersection of fitness and medicine, including exercises, nutrition, training, recovery, body composition and exercise physiology. The plethora of free resources (most of which are designed, generated and written by these same 2 physicians) included on this website offer a wealth of information for patients of all fitness and experience levels.

The website also includes many goal-specific templates for various body parts and fitness metrics. These templates can be fantastic for patients who want to transition from therapy to more dedicated strengthening or endurance exercises, and these are only a few of the available templates.

Most relevant to our practice is the Shoulder Rehab Template. This template takes a relatively generic approach to maintaining strength and function of the less-than-perfect shoulder joint and uses 4 main lifts (squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlift) to progress from entering the gym to maintaining a dedicated fitness routine. Postoperative rehabilitation does not stop once therapy is completed, and this template offers a fantastic approach to the long-term portion of postoperative rehabilitation and maintaining shoulder function over a period of years.

The template includes 13 weeks of pre-designed workouts including videos to demonstrate the exercises performed, training logs for workouts and additional reading regarding shoulder pain and pathology.

While not an alternative to treatment by a healthcare professional, we highly recommend this program for many of our patients transitioning out of physical therapy and into long-term home strengthening programs, such as those recovering from Rotator Cuff Repair.

Combined with proper postoperative rehabilitation, our patients frequently return to high levels of postoperative activity, including baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, racquetball, pickleball, swimming, hunting, competitive fishing, mountain biking, tennis, archery, competitive body/powerlifting and more.

If your shoulder pain is limiting your ability to do the activities you want in daily life, don’t hesitate to Give Us A Call or Submit an Appointment Request at the bottom of our homepage.

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