Rest can be an important part of your recovery. This concept applies to new injuries, an aggravation of a chronic shoulder condition, or after a recent shoulder surgery. If you are pushing on through pain it may slow or compromise your recovery. Pain is a warning sign to back off.
Resting your shoulder can be achieved in a number of ways:
- Avoiding consistently performing a movement or activity that causes shoulder pain
- Modifying movements or activities to fit in with you shoulder comfort
- Passively assisting your sore shoulder by helping with the other arm
- Modifying your gym, golf or swimming or other activities as your shoulder dictates
- Sometimes you need to use a sling to protect your shoulder
The purpose of a sling is to remind you and other people to avoid any unexpected shoulder movements. Such movements might provoke pain. If you are using the sling because of a fracture excessive movement may compromise the position of the broken bone. Extreme unexpected movement of the shoulder after a surgery may risk tearing of repaired tendons or ligaments. This is not to mention that after any recent surgery excessive and sudden movement could cause severe pain.
Mr Lyons will tell you when and if you are required to wear a sling on your arm. The Physiotherapist and Nurses will show you how to fit it.
There are very few special circumstances where cannot take your arm out of the sling to perform light waist level activities with your arm even within days of a surgery. Mr Lyons will encourage you to take your arm out of the sling if sitting down and relaxing. Shoulder surgery should not affect your ability to use the hand and elbow with your arm tucked in at the side. You will be able to remove the sling to perform your gentle physio exercises. You may take the sling off to shower. You can use the arm to help dressing, use a fork or spoon, or use a keyboard.
You should not drive a car when wearing a sling.