Throughout treatment for osteoarthritis of the shoulder, our orthopedic surgeons, rheumatologists, physiatrists, and physical therapists offer continued care, as well as services and programs designed to help you heal quickly and comfortably.
Physical therapy and exercise offer many benefits, whether or not you’ve had surgery. If you’ve had surgery to replace the shoulder joint, physical therapy is an especially important part of recovery. It takes time to learn how to use a new shoulder joint comfortably, and our physical therapists have specialized skills to help you rebuild muscle in your shoulder, arm, and back while improving flexibility and increasing range of motion in the joint.
Surgeons recommend outpatient physical therapy, which means you work with a therapist once or twice a week, either at a local gym or clinic or in your home. If needed, our doctors can help you to arrange home care by suggesting an in-network physical therapist. Physical therapists can also create a routine of simple exercises you can do at home to reinforce muscle tone and flexibility in between physical therapy sessions.
Moving and using your new shoulder becomes easier during the four to eight weeks following surgery. Your physical therapist gradually adds muscle-strengthening exercises, and evaluates your progress every four to eight weeks before recommending additional treatment.
NYU Langone offers a variety of integrative health programs that may help to ease your recuperation. Therapies like acupuncture, acupressure, tai chi, and meditation can relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety.
Acupuncture and acupressure involve the use of very thin needles or massage to stimulate specific points on the body, which enhances blood flow and may speed healing. Tai chi is an ancient form of exercise that consists of a series of simple body movements held for varying periods. Many people find that tai chi boosts energy, reduces stress, and improves strength. Meditation is a form of deep relaxation that can help to restore emotional balance, reduce stress, and boost energy.
Research shows that the nicotine present in cigarettes and other tobacco products slows bone healing after surgery. Our doctors understand how difficult it is to quit and offer Tobacco Cessation Programs to support you every step of the way.
Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.