Physiotherapy is Key in Reducing Pain Post-surgery

August 24, 2010

Receiving physiotherapy after surgery can produce reductions in pain by 50% in just a few months, according to a thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Receiving physiotherapy after surgery can produce reductions in pain by 50% in just a few months, according to a thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Similarly, most of these patients are free of pain after one or two years.

"Age-related changes in tissue combined with acute trauma can contribute to shoulder problems. The most common cause of such problems, however, is compression of the tendons in the shoulder due to a reduction in the space available", said Ingrid Hultenheim Klintberg, physiotherapist and researcher at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, in a press release.

Klintberg suggests that patients with these symptoms be treated initially by physiotherapy and if the effects are inadequate surgical treatment should take place. The two most common procedures are arthroscopic subacromial decompression and rotator cuff repair. Once the procedures are completed patients are offered physiotherapy.

“The results presented in the thesis show that most patients state that pain and discomfort are reduced by 50%, 3-6 months after the surgery. They had achieved full mobility and muscle strength compared with reference values at the two-year follow up after the surgery,” said Ingrid Hultenheim Klintberg.

Eight to 11 years post surgery, many of the patients had retained good shoulder function, mobility, and strength.

“Their quality of life was good and they display the same pattern of physical activity as do Swedish people in general,” said Ingrid Hultenheim Klintberg.