Cayuga Wellness Center
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The shoulder joint is unique in the human body; it not only provides the range-of-motion needed to place our hands in an almost infinite number of positions relative to the body, but it also is strong and stable enough to direct large forces for both sports and work. Most of the time our shoulders manage these conflicting tasks well, but unfortunately injuries and chronic problems do arise. In fact, dysfunction related to the shoulder complex is one of the most common reasons for referral to physical therapy.

Who is the Shoulder Rehabilitation Program right for?

We developed the Shoulder Rehabilitation Program at Cayuga Medical Center to help people with shoulder dysfunction or pain. The program is right for people who have injured their shoulders while at home, work, or during recreational or sports activities. Shoulder rehabilitation at CMC PT can either compliment current medical treatment, or may be the only treatment required to return you to full, pain-free, function.

What can I expect from my first visit to the shoulder program?

  • A thorough evaluation: You and your therapist will discuss your problem in detail. From this information gathered during this discussion, your therapist will generate a hypothesis about the underlying causes of your symptoms. This hypothesis will be tested during the clinic exam, during which your therapist will measure range of motion, strength, integrity of joints and ligaments, and quality and quantity of movements in the region.

  • Education: You should expect to thoroughly understand your problem. You and your therapist are partners in your recovery. We will help you understand any pathoanatomic diagnosis that you might have, such as
    • Rotator cuff tears or strains
    • Frozen shoulder
    • Arthritis
    • Bursitis
    • Shoulder instability / dislocation
    • Fracture
    And we will also include consideration of impairments to all of the neuromusculoskeletal systems that relate to shoulder function. If you do not understand what is going on, or why certain treatments or exercises are prescribed, please ask.

What can I expect in terms of treatment?

  • Manual therapy: Your therapist may utilize manual treatments such as massage, mobilization of joints, and/or manipulation of joints. Because of the interdependence of all areas of the body, some of this treatment may be directed at the neck and thoracic region as well as at the joints and muscles of the shoulder complex itself.
  • Neuromuscular retraining: This is specific training to help muscles learn to fire with proper force and timing. This type of training is usually directed at the rotator cuff muscles and the muscle that help to upwardly rotate the shoulder blade.
  • Postural training and self-treatment techniques for a home exercise program
  • Work and/or sports specific training: Most activities that may be limited by your shoulder problem use other parts of the body as well. We will work with you to develop and exercise program that addresses all aspects of the work or sports specific tasks that are your goals for recovery.

What are the benefits?

Current research has demonstrated that timely and proper treatment of shoulder pain and dysfunction will speed recovery, improve function, and more importantly, reduce the risk of recurrence.

Where is the service provided?

Our shoulder specialists treat patients in state-of-the-art clinics at Island Health and Fitness, which is located at the corner of Route 96 and Route 89 in Ithaca's West End and at our Brentwood location, which is located at 10 Brentwood Drive, just off Warren Road, in Ithaca.

Does my insurance cover this?

Most insurance plans do cover physical therapy services. Check with your insurance company or the benefits manager at your place of employment to see if your policy covers physical therapy services and if a physician's referral is required.

How do I get started?

To schedule an appointment with one of our physical therapists, call our office at Island Health and Fitness (607) 252-3500 or Brentwood Drive (607) 274-4159.

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