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Shoulder Surgery Recovery Tips: Your Guide to a Smooth and Comfortable Recovery

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21 Jun 2024
Shoulder surgery recovery tips: beautiful woman smiling off into the distance with her hand in her hair


So, you’ve just had shoulder surgery, or are gearing up for one soon? We know it’s scary and recovering from shoulder surgery can feel overwhelming, but with the right tips and a bit of patience, you can help it be a lot easier. Let’s dive into some friendly and practical shoulder surgery recovery tips to help you through this journey.

What to Expect After Shoulder Surgery

First things first, let’s talk about what to expect. Recovery isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal, but generally, it’s divided into three stages:

  1. Immediate Post-Surgery (1-2 weeks): This is all about managing pain and preventing complications.
  2. Early Recovery (2-6 weeks): You’ll start regaining basic mobility and begin physical therapy.
  3. Late Recovery (6+ weeks): Time to focus on strengthening exercises and slowly returning to your regular activities.

Basics Covered by Your Doctor

Your doctor or surgeon will have provided you with some essential guidelines, including:

  • Pain Management: Instructions on medications, ice packs, and elevation.
  • Physical Therapy: A tailored exercise plan to regain mobility.
  • Wound Care: How to keep your surgical area clean and dry.

So with that covered here are some more shoulder surgery recovery tips:

The Importance of Asking for Help

Shoulder surgery recovery tips: an older woman sitting on the couch smiles at a younger woman who's hugging her from behind

Yes, this is the first one, and it’s a big one. Remember asking for help is okay and even necessary during this time. Let your loved ones support you; it’s a way for them to show their care. Going through surgery, being in pain, and needing assistance can take a toll on your self-esteem. 

Feeling vulnerable and dependent can be tough, but remember, whether this is a temporary injury or a long-term journey you’re facing, your main goal is to heal properly. So you need and deserve all the help you can get.

Maintaining Independence with Adaptive Tools

Shoulder surgery recovery tips: close up of the Springrose post shoulder surgery bra in beige showcasing the velcro front closure

But also, maintaining as much independence as possible is crucial for your mental well-being. Here are some practical tips and adaptive tools to help you navigate daily tasks:

  • Shoulder Pillows: Invest in a good shoulder pillow to keep your shoulder in the right position and provide extra comfort while sleeping or resting.
  • Extended Arm Grabbers: These are lifesavers for picking up items without stretching or straining your shoulder. Use them to reach things on high shelves or pick up objects from the floor.
  • Showering and Bathing: Install a shower chair and use a handheld showerhead to make bathing easier. Keep your surgical area dry until your doctor gives you the green light to get it wet.
  • Eating and Meal Prep: If your surgery is programmed, prepare meals in advance or ask for help with cooking. This can be a non-issue if you can organize it in advance. Also, use lightweight dishes or even disposable ones and utensils with ergonomic handles to reduce strain if needed.
  • Household Chores: Avoid heavy lifting and tasks that require reaching above your head. If it is within your possibilities consider hiring help for cleaning or other strenuous chores.
  • Driving: If you can avoid driving until your doctor clears you to do so. Even then, start with short trips and be mindful of any pain or discomfort.
  • Adaptive Clothing: One of the biggest struggles when recovering from shoulder surgery is dressing and getting ready in the mornings, and undressing at night. Consider wearing adaptive clothing with easy-to-use fasteners like Velcro or magnets. They’re much easier to put on and take off without straining your shoulder. Button-up shirts or those with front closures are ideal, and if you also have limited dexterity or your range of motion doesn’t allow you to fasten your buttons or reach your zippers there are amazing tools in the market easy to get from Amazon to help you with that.

For those with breasts, we at Springrose can already help you solve one of these issues with our adaptive bras. These bras are designed to be easy to put on and take off post-shoulder surgery. 

You can put them on by stepping in and fasten them with their front velcro closure reducing the strain on your shoulder, or you can put them on one-handed, while keeping your surgery side immobile. 

They’re made with a soft, comfortable fabric and a lot of adjustable features so you can find the right fit for you. 

Ready to experience the Springrose difference? Explore our collection today with just one click and discover how our adaptive bras can bring comfort and confidence to your daily routine. Click here.

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