Today I had my first physical therapy appointment for my frozen shoulder. I was a bit worried because I had very little idea of what to expect for the first visit. Would it involve a lot of pain?
Some background information: I have suffered from a frozen shoulder for a little over two years now. It all started just after I had open heart surgery. I have been doing stretching and movement exercises on my own, which have helped, but I hit a threshold and have made very little progress over the past several months. So I decided I need professional help.
I arrived about thirty minutes early and expected to have to wait a bit, but the therapist was already ready for me and more than happy to jump right in. He had a newb working with him and asked if I minded her taking the lead under his observation. I agreed. I love helping others to gain experience.
She asked me a lot of questions about my shoulder; when did it all start? How much pain? Do I ice it? Take pain meds?, etc. She then asked me to demonstrate movements to see my range of motion and limits before pain set in. Then she did a physical examination of my shoulder (poking, prodding, etc.) and asked me to let her know when it hurt.
I was very happy to find out that my condition does not require ongoing in-house therapy. The therapist instructed me to do a series of specific exercises twice a day on my own at home. As long as I keep up with it my shoulder should get back to normal within a few weeks.
Most of the exercises I was shown I have already been doing on my own, but there were a couple that I never would have thought would help my shoulder. When she showed me how to do them I could immediately feel the benefit to my shoulder.
They also provided me with a stretch band to use for most of the exercises.
I am very pleased with the news I was given, especially since I was expecting to need in-house therapy, or even the worst case scenario, surgery!
Here’s to soon being able to do simple things again, like putting my hair up in a pony tail!