physical therapy for labral tears in NYC
The labrum, a vital cartilaginous structure in the shoulder socket, provides stability and an extensive range of motion to the joint. Unfortunately, it can tear due to trauma or become prone to fraying with age.
Understanding Shoulder Labral Tears
Common symptoms of a labral tear include persistent joint pain, a clicking or catching sensation during shoulder movement, and a feeling of shoulder instability. The symptoms can vary depending on the type and location of the injury:
- Bankart Lesion: Occurs with an anterior shoulder dislocation, increasing the risk of future dislocations.
- Posterior Shoulder Tears: Often found in athletes when the rotator cuff and labrum are pinched together in the back of the shoulder, causing internal impingement.
- SLAP Tears: Located at the superior portion of the joint where the biceps tendon attaches to the shoulder, commonly seen in overhand-throwing athletes like baseball and tennis players.
While extreme cases may require surgery, most labral tears can be effectively treated with a combination of rest and physical therapy.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Labral Tears
Several methods are available for treating a torn labrum in the shoulder, including:
- Physical Therapy
- Anti-Inflammatory Medications
- Steroid Injections
- Ice or Heat Therapy
- Activity Modification
The Role of Physical Therapy
Physical therapy is a highly effective approach for healing a shoulder labral tear. By focusing on strengthening the surrounding muscles, physical therapy alleviates pressure on the shoulder joint, facilitating labral tear recovery. Over time, this practice not only relieves pain but also enhances range of motion, restoring full shoulder function.
Duration of Physical Therapy
While the duration of physical therapy varies from patient to patient, shoulder labral tear recovery typically takes up to six weeks before patients can move their shoulder without pain.
Can you rehab a torn labrum without surgery?
It's possible to rehabilitate and heal a shoulder labral tear without surgery, primarily through physical therapy. This process requires patience and may involve pain-relieving methods such as steroid injections. Keep in mind that physical therapy is a gradual process. However, if you're an athlete aiming for a swift return to your sport or notice no improvement, surgery might become the best option.
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Physical therapy will include modalities to promote healing and reduce pain, soft tissue work to address any inflammation and tightness and a strengthening program to return the muscles of the shoulder to normal function.