Can I Give Stage 1 Formula After 6 Months Recovering From Shoulder Surgery With Acupuncture

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Recovering From Shoulder Surgery With Acupuncture

Different types of shoulder injuries will require different types of treatment. While it may be in your best interest to try natural healing methods in some cases, surgery may be the best option in other cases. It is estimated that the average time it takes to recover from shoulder surgery (recovering 75-80% of strength and function) is 6-7 months. In some cases it can take up to a year, and full recovery takes 2 years. This all depends on the initial health of the person, the extent of the injury, the quality and commitment to recovery, the patient’s diet and recovery methods. Using acupuncture and Chinese herbs can reduce your recovery time in each phase of recovery. It is possible to regain strength and function of your shoulder early, reduce pain from surgery, reduce scar tissue and reduce loss of range of motion, all through the use of acupuncture and Chinese formulas.

Possible shoulder injuries or conditions are fractures, dislocations/dislocations, tears, impingement, tendinitis, bone spurs and bursitis. Obviously, not all of these conditions will require surgery. For this article the focus is on shoulder injuries and surgeries such as, arthroscopic, rotator cuff repair, Bankart surgery and prosthetic shoulder replacement. All these treatments can be very useful for the patient, but they can cause a lot of suffering in the area that takes a long time to heal and a lot of dedication and time to restore the body to the patient.

There are certain risks associated with shoulder surgery including vascular and neurological injuries, synovial fluid leakage, increased stiffness and tendon injuries due to iatrogenic reasons (medical error). In most cases there are no complications and the patient should face normal issues after surgery. Shoulder surgery patients commonly report pain, stiffness, swelling, reduced range of motion, keloid scarring, loss of strength, numbness and tingling as issues after surgery. Each of these issues can be alleviated by using acupuncture therapy as part of the rehabilitation process. Treatment can be started on the same day or one day after surgery, if possible. Various herbal formulas can be used to strengthen tendons and ligaments, reduce pain and blood circulation (reduce inflammation, assist lymph drainage and bring a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to the damaged area). Make sure you get your herbs from a licensed physician to ensure you are getting the right formula for you. Acupuncture can take you through 4 stages of rapid recovery and get you back to work up to 2 months faster than rehabilitation without acupuncture.

Stage 1 of the recovery process is 5-6 weeks and involves the patient wearing a sling. At this point, acupuncture can be done in the areas around the shoulder to increase blood flow to the area, reduce lymph build-up and inflammation, keep the immune system high (reducing the risk of infection) and pain levels low. Acupuncture helps your body release endorphins, which are your body’s natural pain killers. For those patients who do not like to take medication, this is the best option and may reduce your need for prescription pain medication.

Level 2 involves very little movement and treatment of the shoulder. Using acupuncture directly around the injured shoulder at this stage can promote blood flow to the tendon. This helps reduce stiffness and reduce range of motion. The stimulation of the surrounding muscles keeps the loss of strength and muscle strain to a minimum. Mild electro-acupuncture is an excellent method at this stage. The use of distal points on the hand ensures that nerve conduction is maintained and reduces the likelihood of increased discomfort and impingement on the limb.

Level 3 encourages more physical therapy and the patient uses weights from 6-10 lbs. Acupuncture is beneficial at this stage to continue taking care of damaged muscles and tendons. It is also good for preventing the formation of keloid scar tissue and breaking up any red tissue that may have already formed. This is important to maintain full range of motion, flexibility and sensation.

Level 4 is a continuous improvement to bring the patient back to 100% again. If the patient has obeyed and the acupuncturist has done his job properly, this stage should be greatly shortened and the patient should have months before the recovery process.

While some orthopedic surgery can be prevented using acupuncture and Chinese medicine, it can be used as an adjunct to the rehabilitation process from surgery. It can be used before the patient can move the arm and go to physical therapy. It can also be used with physical therapy. When done properly, by a licensed acupuncturist, your recovery time after shoulder injury surgery will be kept as short and painless as possible, with greater range of motion, more strength and less chance of permanent damage. Visit us online for more information on post-surgery rehabilitation using acupuncture and Chinese medicine for faster healing.

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