Shoulder Rehabilitation

Sydney Shoulder Clinic see patients with a wide array of shoulder conditions, and each condition is assessed thoroughly before a rehabilitation plan is formulated. Rehabilitation plans are tailored to each individual and designed to assist your recovery. In most cases a conservative approach is taken, but surgery may be recommended for more severe cases. 

If surgery is required: Your surgeon will recommend a plan to assist in your recovery. The typical duration of a surgery rehabilitation plan is around 12 months. 

When surgery is not required: Patients who do not require surgery will have a rehabilitation program devised by their physiotherapist, orthopaedic surgeon or physician. 

In either case, rehabilitation programs are formulated with the goal of delivering the best possible recovery for the patient. Your unique situation and lifestyle will be considered, and your progress will be monitored on a regular basis to ensure the program is working as intended. In time you should start to notice your shoulder function improve, with the most notable improvements being shoulder strength, movement and control.

Your rehabilitation plan must be followed closely to achieve the best possible recovery. You should pay particular attention to the following. 


You should try to avoid the following activities, as they place additional strain on the shoulder and may hinder your recovery:

  • Repetitive activities and manual work such as typing, working in the garden, home renovations, overhead sports and house duties. 
  • Attempting to lift loads weighing more than 1-2kg
  • Any activities which cause shoulder pain to worsen
  • Overhead activities

The above should be avoided for a period of at least 3 months, as this will allow your shoulder to rest and recover. Inflammation will start to reduce, and scar tissue will begin to form and support your healing. 

For patients who have had surgery, different use and lifting restrictions may apply and will be advised by your surgeon post operatively.

Time, Commitment and Exercise Planning

Shoulder rehabilitation is a slow process, and it can take up to 12 months to achieve a full recovery. Patients who have undergone surgery should gain reasonable use and comfort after a period of about 3-6 months, but a full recovery can take up to 12 months. Those who have not needed to undergo surgery may complete their rehabilitation plan in as little as 3-6 months. 

Keep in mind that your exercise plan is specific to your condition and needs. If you are experiencing pain, weakness, stiffness or instability around the shoulder this may in turn affect the surrounding muscles. Your exercise program is designed to address these issues so that you retain strength, flexibility, and internal control of your shoulder.

It is important to remain committed to your program, and in most cases you will need to perform the recommended exercises 3-4 times daily for at least a couple of months. Exercise therapy is a highly effective treatment for shoulder problems and you should start to notice a reduction in pain and improved function in time. 


Try to maintain a healthy posture at all times, as poor postural habits can aggravate your condition.

Call now on 9744 2201 to schedule an appointment at Sydney Shoulder Clinic.