Restoring Range of Motion After an MVA Focus on Shoulder Injuries


Motor Vehicle Accident Physiotherapy at Edmonton is meant to handle injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents. This is to ensure the person is well set for their functionality and mobility, besides attaining the optimal state that is required. It, therefore, facilitates healing from pain, stiffness, and loss of function that may have occurred as a result of the reported accident.

Shoulder Pain Physiotherapy Restoring Range of Motion After Motor Vehicle Accidents

Key to normal restoration in the use of the arm and shoulder is bringing back the range of motion in the shoulder after an injury in the same area caused by the car accident, which is very painful.

Initial Assessment 

In cases where an accident occurred,  motor vehicle accident physiotherapy in Edmonton seeks to perform a detailed assessment involving proper grading for the severity and range of the shoulder injury, which may have limited ROM. This shall involve the measurement of active ROM, passive ROM, muscle strength assessment, and identification of any structural damage or soft tissue injuries.

Pain Management 

In motor vehicle physiotherapy in Edmonton, when someone starts getting better after an injury, the first thing to focus on is making the pain go away. They might use ice, heat, ultrasound waves, or gentle shockwaves to help calm down pain and reduce swelling in the shoulder.

Passive Range of Motion Exercises 

Passive ROM exercises are when the shoulder physiotherapist gently moves the patient’s shoulder for them without the patient having to do anything. This helps keep the shoulder from getting stiff or sore and keeps it moving smoothly.

Active Range of Motion Exercises

Active range-of-motion exercises are initiated with decreased pain while healing is taking place in order to increase the patient’s motivation to move the shoulder on their own. These exercises may include pendulum exercises, wall climbing, or assisted shoulder range of motion exercises using a cane or pulley system.


The specific aim of stretching exercises is to tighten or shorten the muscles around the shoulder joint. It helps improve the flexibility and lengthening of tightened tissues, thereby increasing shoulder ROM. Common stretching exercises used in MVA physiotherapy for shoulder injuries are mentioned below:

Pectoralis Major Stretch

One arm is bent 90 degrees against the frame of the door. It is gently pushed forward so that the chest would stretch while the arm does not move, staying attached to the frame. One stays in this position for 20-30 seconds and then relaxes. Repeat this procedure on the opposite side.

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

Place your hands on the wall, holding them at the shoulder width firmly. Lean to one side, making that arm straight and the shoulder relaxed. Hold for 20-30 seconds, then return carefully to the starting position. The stretch should be repeated on the opposite side.

Strengthening Exercises

Once the shoulder moves well again, exercises to make the muscles stronger and more stable are introduced. This helps the shoulder move better and includes physio for the rotator cuff and other important shoulder muscles. Here are some common strengthening exercises:

External Rotation

Start with the arm that needs work close to the body, with the elbow bent. Hold something like a resistance band or a lightweight one. Without moving the elbow away from the side, rotate the forearm outward, like opening a door. Then, slowly return to the start. Do this move 2-3 times in sets of 10-15.

Internal Rotation

Start the same way, but now rotate the forearm inward, like closing a door. Repeat this move in sets of 10-15, doing it 2-3 times.

Joint Mobilizations 

Physiotherapists use hands-on methods, such as moving and adjusting joints (joint mobilizations and manipulations), to help joints move more smoothly, lessen stiffness, and increase how well shoulders can move. They choose which techniques to use based on what each patient needs and how they respond to the treatment.

Soft Tissue Techniques 

For issues like muscle tightness and scar tissue around the shoulder, physiotherapists might do massages, myofascial release, or work on trigger points. These approaches aim to loosen up the tissues and improve flexibility and range of motion.

Functional Training 

Functional exercises mimic everyday actions or specific tasks that relate to what the person does at work or for fun. Functional training helps integrate improved shoulder ROM into functional movement patterns and promotes overall shoulder stability and coordination. Here are some examples of functional exercises

Shoulder Press

Sit or stand up straight with a lightweight (like a dumbbell or resistance band) in each hand at shoulder level. Push the weights up above the head, stretching arms but keeping the elbows a bit bent. Then, slowly bring the weights back down to the shoulders. Try to finish 2-3 sets, doing 10-15 reps in each set.

Progressive Loading 

The physiotherapist modifies the treatment program in accordance with the achievements during rehabilitation; that is, the intensity, duration, and complexity of exercises are systematically enhanced in order to keep providing some amount of challenge to the shoulder joint and accompanying musculature. This will help in the progressive loading of the complex of the shoulders for strength, endurance, and resiliency.

Empowering Recovery 

One of the major features, part of the continuum of rehabilitation, is that of physiotherapy for motor vehicle accident patients who have sustained injuries during such occurrences. Subsequently, Family Physiotherapy in Edmonton provides tailor-made assessment, targeted treatment interventions, and ongoing support to aid in the recovery process from MVA-related injuries back to optimum function and mobility. 

In this light, therefore, car accident physiotherapy in Edmonton elaborates on the need for comprehensive healing that includes the physical, functional, and psychological aspects of recovery in an attempt to improve the quality of life among the victims of a motor vehicle accident.

Keywords: physio for rotator cuff, shoulder pain physiotherapy, motor vehicle accident physiotherapy Edmonton, Family Physiotherapy, car accident physiotherapy edmonton