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Recovering From Shoulder Surgery With Acupuncture
Different types of shoulder injuries require different types of treatment. While you may be interested in trying natural healing options in some cases, surgery may be the most appropriate option in other cases. Estimated recovery time from shoulder surgery is approximately 6-7 months (to regain 75-80% strength and function). In some cases, it can take a year, and full recovery takes 2 years. It all depends on the initial health of the person, the extent of the injury, the quality and commitment to rehabilitation, the patient’s diet and the rehabilitation process. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbs can shorten your recovery time at each stage of recovery. It is possible to quickly restore the strength and function of your shoulder, reduce pain from surgical wounds, reduce scar tissue and minimize loss of motion, through the use of acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Possible shoulder injuries or conditions include fractures, dislocation/subluxation, tears, impingement, tendinitis, bone spurs and bursitis. Of course, not all of these conditions require surgery. For this article we focus on shoulder injuries and surgeries such as, arthroscopic, rotator cuff repair, Bankart surgery and prosthetic shoulder replacement. All of these surgeries can be very beneficial to the patient, but can cause significant trauma to the area that takes a long time to heal and the commitment and time in physical rehabilitation of the patient.
There are some risks associated with shoulder surgery including vascular and neurological injury, synovial fluid leakage, increased stiffness and tendon injury due to iatrogenic causes (fault of treatment). In most cases there are no complications and the patient has to deal with normal shoulder problems after the operation. Shoulder surgery patients frequently report pain, stiffness, swelling, decreased range of motion, keloids, loss of strength, dizziness, and tenderness as postoperative problems. Each of these problems can be reduced by using acupuncture treatment through the recovery process. Treatment can be started the same day or the day after surgery, if possible. Various herbs can be used to strengthen tendons and ligaments, reduce pain and stimulate blood flow (reducing swelling, helping lymph drainage and bringing oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area). Be sure to get yours from a licensed practitioner to ensure you are getting the right formula for you. Acupuncture can move you through the 4 stages of recovery faster and get you back to work up to 2 months faster than recovery without acupuncture.
Phase 1 of the recovery process is 5-6 weeks and involves the patient wearing a sling. At this stage, acupuncture can be done in the area around the shoulder to increase the blood flow to the area, reduce the lymph flow and swelling, maintain the immune system (reduce the risk of the disease) and reduce pain. Acupuncture helps your body release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killers. For patients who do not like to take medication, this is a good option and may reduce your need for pain medication.
Stage 2 requires minimal movement and treatment of the shoulder. Using acupuncture directly around the injured shoulder at this stage can promote blood flow to the tendon. This helps reduce stiffness and reduced range of motion. Stimulating the surrounding muscles keeps the loss of strength and muscle mass to a minimum. Mild electro-acupuncture is an excellent method for this process. Using the most distal point of the hand ensures that the nerve is protected and limits the possibility of sympathetic and finger numbness.
Phase 3 encourages more physical therapy and has the patient use weights ranging from 6-10 lbs. Acupuncture is useful at this stage to continue to nourish damaged muscles and tendons. It is also very good at preventing the formation of keloid tissue and dissolving any tissue that may have built up. This is important to maintain full range of motion, ability and sensitivity.
Phase 4 is ongoing rehabilitation to get the patient back to 100%. If the patient has accepted the conditions and the acupuncturist has done his job properly, this process should be greatly shortened and should be several months before the patient’s recovery process.
Although some orthopedic surgeries can be prevented with the use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, they can also be used as an additional service in the recovery process from surgery. It can be used before the patient can move their arm and go to physical therapy. It can also be used in conjunction with physical therapy. When done properly, by a licensed acupuncturist, your recovery time after shoulder injury surgery will be kept to a minimum and as painless as possible. , with more mobility, more power and less damage sustained. Visit us online for more information on post-surgery recovery using acupuncture and Chinese medicine for faster healing.
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#Recovering #Shoulder #Surgery #Acupuncture