According to the latest study, it is found that people with shoulder pain who expect physical therapy to help them have a better recovery than those who expect minimal or no improvement. The findings also highlight the fact that people are likely to recover better if they trust that they will be able to continue doing things that are important to them, such as socializing, hobbies and working. The recovery is also aided by physiotherapy home service which is playing a crucial role in our daily living.
What was surprising is that patients who had said they expected to “fully recover” as a result of physiotherapy did even better than patients who expected to “improve a lot”.
The most important predictor of the outcome was the pain and disability of the person on the first appointment. The highest levels of pain and disability were associated with higher levels six months later. And the lowest reference levels were associated with lower levels six months later. But this relationship often changed for people who had a high “pain self-efficacy,” that is, confidence in the ability to keep doing most things, despite having shoulder pain.
Another surprising finding was that people with a high level of pain and disability at the baseline, but with high levels of self-efficacy in pain did as well as, sometimes better than people with a low level of pain and disability, and low self-efficacy in pain.
This is the first study that investigates patients’ expectations about the outcome of physiotherapy for shoulder pain. Previous research shows that the patient’s high expectation of recovery predicts a better outcome after physiotherapy for back and neck pain and a better result after orthopaedic surgery.
On a similar note, this is the first study to show that greater pain self-efficacy predicts a better outcome in non-surgically controlled shoulder pain. Previous research has shown that self-efficacy predicts a better outcome for a variety of other health conditions. In addition, people with greater self-efficacy are more likely to perform the home exercise program suggested by their physiotherapist.
If you have shoulder pain, there are several ways to increase the self-efficacy of your pain. Work with your physiotherapist to understand and manage your symptoms. Practice your exercises together and ask your physiotherapist to give you their opinion, including how to adjust your exercises to make them more difficult or easier. Finally, be sure to discuss what you want with your physiotherapy and the activities that are important to you.
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