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Effective Physical Therapy for Shoulder Dislocations


If you have dislocated your shoulder,choosing the best mode of treatment to get you moving and free from pain as quickly as possible can be a real challenge. One kind of shoulder dislocation, multidirectional shoulder instability, tends to occur in younger adults and may need surgery, along with physical therapy, to provide relief.   Care should be taken not to resume any vigorous activity until the shoulder stabilizes.
Athletes, such as gymnasts, swimmers or weight trainers, can be particularly predisposed to multidirectional shoulder instability, because they lack the normal restraint system in their ligaments and capsule. Because this instability is not triggered by injury, it is vital to follow a physical therapy program custom tailored to your unique case.

Even if you do undergo surgery, physical therapy will still be the key to successful long-term recovery. The goal of your physical therapy program will be to regain mobility and function, both for daily tasks and for more vigorous exercise or sports activities.
Successful treatment depends on several factors:

  • the severity of your condition/injury
  • the chosen treatment
  • the intensity of physical therapy

You will be provided a gentle progression of exercises to assist in regaining your motion. Often your motion will be limited for several weeks. After approximately six weeks, you might start more intensive therapy, which could include strengthening exercises using weights or tubing. You should avoid movements such as throwing a ball that cause your shoulder to be stretched or extended.
Ideally, you should start your program early on, whether it is the sole treatment or immediately follows surgery. We will ensure that your program will get your shoulder in optimum condition in the most realistic time frame.

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Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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