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Regain Your Strength: Alternative Medicine for Shoulder Injuries

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Smiling patient sitting on couch and doctor examining patient shoulder.

Shoulder injuries are a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors such as overuse, trauma, or aging. These injuries can range from mild discomfort to severe pain and limited range of motion. It is essential to address shoulder injuries promptly to prevent further damage and ensure proper healing. 

In this article, we will explore some of the innovative solutions for shoulder injuries and discuss their benefits and effectiveness in treating various conditions. By understanding these alternatives to surgery, individuals can make informed decisions about their treatment options and work towards a speedy recovery. 

What is Alternative Medicine?

Alternative medicine, also known as complementary or integrative medicine, encompasses a wide range of practices and therapies not considered part of conventional medicine. These approaches often focus on treating the “whole person”- including their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Alternative medicine includes practices like physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal remedies, and medical massage therapy. These approaches often aim to address the root cause of health issues rather than just treating symptoms. Many people turn to alternative medicine when conventional treatments have failed to provide relief or have caused unwanted side effects. 

A person doing a physical therapy exercise with the assistance of a medical professional.

The Best Alternative Therapies for Shoulder Injuries

Family Integrative Medicine offers numerous alternative therapies for shoulder pain. These non-surgical solutions include: 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often a key component in treating shoulder injuries. A trained physical therapist can design a personalized exercise program to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, improve flexibility, and reduce pain. By gradually increasing the intensity of exercises, patients can regain strength and mobility in their shoulders over time.

Medical Acupuncture

One of the benefits of acupuncture for shoulder pain is its ability to target trigger points in the muscles that may be causing discomfort. By inserting needles into these trigger points, acupuncturists can help release tension and promote relaxation in the muscles, which can alleviate pain and improve mobility in the shoulder joint.

Medical Massage

One benefit of medical massages for shoulder pain is improved circulation. By applying pressure and manipulation to the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder joint, blood flow can be increased. This helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to the injured area, promoting healing and reducing inflammation. Improved circulation also aids in flushing out toxins and waste products from the muscles, further enhancing the healing process.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy works by stimulating the mitochondria in cells, which then produces more energy for cellular repair and regeneration. This increased energy production helps to accelerate the healing process in damaged tissues, including those in the shoulder. Additionally, red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation by decreasing levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines. By reducing inflammation, red light therapy can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with shoulder injuries.

Ozone Therapy

Proper blood flow is essential for healing injured tissues and reducing pain. Ozone therapy can help increase circulation to the shoulder joint, which can promote faster healing and recovery. Improved circulation can also help reduce stiffness and improve flexibility in the shoulder. Ozone therapy also reduces inflammation in the affected area. By targeting the inflammatory response, ozone therapy can help alleviate pain and improve range of motion in the shoulder.

Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine utilizes a combination of herbs that work synergistically to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and promote healing in the shoulder area. These herbs are carefully selected based on their specific properties and functions, such as increasing blood circulation, reducing muscle tension, and nourishing the tendons and ligaments. By addressing both the symptoms and root causes of shoulder pain, traditional Chinese herbal medicine aims to provide long-lasting relief and prevent future injuries.

Recover Faster with Physical Therapy and Regenerative Medicine  

The combination of regenerative medicine and physical therapy offers a comprehensive approach to treating shoulder pain. While regenerative medicine treatments help to address the underlying issues causing the pain, physical therapy helps to strengthen and stabilize the shoulder joint, preventing future injuries and promoting long-term healing. 

By undergoing regenerative medicine treatments and physical therapy simultaneously, patients can benefit from a synergistic effect that accelerates the healing process. Regenerative medicine treatments can help to reduce pain and inflammation in the shoulder, allowing patients to participate more fully in their physical therapy exercises. This leads to faster progress in restoring function and mobility in the shoulder joint. 

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Shoulder Exercises You Can Do at Home

Incorporating these at-home shoulder therapy exercises into your regenerative medicine treatments can help you achieve optimal results and accelerate the healing process. By strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, improving range of motion, and enhancing stability, you can experience greater pain relief and a faster recovery.

Shoulder External Rotation

This exercise helps to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, which play a crucial role in stabilizing the shoulder joint. To perform this exercise, you will need a resistance band. 

  • Begin by attaching one end of the band to a sturdy object at waist height.  
  • Hold the other end of the band with your elbow bent at a 90-degree angle and close to your side.  
  • Slowly rotate your forearm away from your body while keeping your elbow tucked in.  
  • Repeat this movement for several repetitions on each side or as directed by your healthcare provider.  
A man doing a shoulder workout.

Scapular Retraction

This movement helps improve posture and strengthens the muscles that support the shoulder blades. 

  • Sit or stand with your arms by your sides and palms facing forward. 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together as if you are trying to hold a pencil between them. 
  • Hold this contraction for a few seconds, then relax. 
  • Repeat this movement several times to strengthen the muscles that stabilize the shoulder blades. 
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Wall Slides

Wall slides are an effective at-home shoulder therapy exercise that targets the muscles in the upper back and shoulders. This exercise helps improve shoulder mobility and strength in a safe and controlled manner. 

  • Stand with your back against a wall and slowly slide your arms up the wall while keeping your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. 
  • As you reach as high as you can comfortably go, slowly lower your arms back down.  
  • Frequency and intensity will be provided by your healthcare provider.  

Note: Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting a workout regimen.  

FAQs for Shoulder Pain

Symptoms stiffness, weakness, and limited range of motion in the shoulder joint.

Treatment options for shoulder pain may include rest, ice or heat therapy, physical therapy exercises, PRP injections, or a variety of other alternative therapies.

Prevention of shoulder pain involves maintaining good posture, practicing proper body mechanics during activities that involve the shoulder joint (such as lifting heavy objects), and engaging in exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder. It is also important to avoid overuse or repetitive movements that can lead to strain and discomfort in the shoulder. 

Yes, with the use of regenerative and alternative medicine, our team can develop a personalized plan that suites your needs. 

In some mild cases, yes. However moderate to severe shoulder pain can develop into a serious long-term condition. It’s always best to seek treatment from a medical professional.  

Restore Shoulder Strength and Mobility with Family Integrative Medicine

Shoulder pain is a common problem that can greatly impact daily activities. By understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, and prevention tips for shoulder pain, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their discomfort and prevent future issues. 

Our medical staff at Family Integrative Medicine has the knowledge and experience to restore strength and mobility to your shoulder. Give us a call today and visit the location in Central Florida closest to you. 407.751.2192  

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