The Role of Physiotherapy in Shoulder Fracture Recovery


Shoulder fractures, also known as broken collarbones, are a common injury among both adults and children. They can occur due to a variety of causes, such as falls, car accidents, and sports injuries. While most shoulder fractures heal with conservative treatments such as rest and physical therapy, more severe fractures may require surgery. Physiotherapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process for shoulder fractures. Physiotherapists can help to reduce pain and swelling, improve strength and mobility, and provide support to ensure a successful return to normal activities. This article will explore the role of physiotherapy for shoulder fracture in the management of shoulder fractures and what patients should expect during their rehabilitation journey.

Types of Shoulder Fractures

Shoulder fractures can be classified based on the bone that is fractured. The most common type of shoulder fracture is a clavicle fracture or broken collarbone. This type of fracture occurs when there is direct trauma to the area or when an individual falls on their outstretched arm with excessive force. The clavicle bone is particularly weak due to its long shape, which makes it susceptible to breakage from any kind of impact or stress placed upon it. Treatment for this type of fracture usually involves immobilizing the shoulder in a sling for several weeks followed by physical therapy exercises designed to strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve range-of-motion in the joint area.

Another common type of shoulder fracture is an acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation or “separated shoulder”. This occurs when there has been damage done directly to the AC joint located at the top portion of the shoulder where the collarbone meets the shoulder blade. Treatment for this type of fracture varies based on the severity of the injury, ranging from conservative treatments such as rest and physical therapy to more severe cases requiring surgical intervention.

Symptoms of Shoulder Fractures

The symptoms of shoulder fractures can vary depending on the severity of the injury. The most common symptom of shoulder fracture is pain, which can range from mild to severe. Pain may worsen with movement and activities such as lifting or pulling and can persist even when at rest. There may also be tenderness in and around the shoulder area as well as swelling and bruising. Other signs that could indicate a shoulder fracture include difficulty moving your arm, decreased range of motion in your arm, or an odd-looking bump along your collarbone or upper arm bone where the bone has broken through your skin (known as an open fracture).

The Role of Physiotherapy in Shoulder Fracture Recoverye

It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect a shoulder fracture. Your doctor will do an examination that includes asking about how you injured yourself, examining your range of motion in various directions, feeling for any abnormal bumps along your bones that indicate where they have broken through the skin (in case you have suffered an open fracture), and pressing on different areas around your joint while checking for pain response.

Benefits of Physiotherapy for Shoulder Fractures

Physiotherapy is an effective treatment option for those suffering from shoulder fractures. It can help reduce pain and swelling, improve mobility, and speed up the healing process. When it comes to treating a shoulder fracture, physiotherapy has several key benefits that make it an attractive choice for many patients.

The first benefit of physiotherapy is that it reduces pain and swelling associated with the injury. The therapist will use manual therapy techniques such as massage and joint mobilization to reduce inflammation around the area of the fracture. This helps to decrease pain and improve range of motion in the injured area.

The second benefit is improved mobility in the affected area. The therapist will work to increase strength in surrounding muscles as well as flexibility in tendons and ligaments around the fracture site. This helps to strengthen joints, which are essential for restoring normal movement patterns after an injury such as a shoulder fracture occurs.


In conclusion, physiotherapy for shoulder fractures is an important part of recovery. It can help to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and increase strength and endurance. Physiotherapy helps to restore normal movement patterns and reduce the risk of further injury. With regular treatment from a qualified physiotherapist, individuals with shoulder fractures can recover quickly and safely.