Why can’t I figure out how to treat my shoulder pain?
Shoulders: We carry the weight of the world on them, but don’t spend a lot of time trying to figure them out. Yet our shoulders are each incredibly complicated joint system. The positive aspect of this complexity is that your shoulders allow your body to undertake an amazing range of activities. On the downside, when something goes wrong with one or both of them, it can be complicated to treat on your own.
Specifically, each one of your shoulders is made up of four joints, which are connected not only to one another, but form the connecting unit to your shoulder blades, collarbone and upper arms. Because of this interdependence, any problem with your shoulder often means trouble performing functions that require almost any kind of upper-body mobility.
What causes shoulder pain?
The causes of shoulder problems can stem from a sudden injury, a lifetime of poor posture, or conditions which weaken joint tissue. These conditions include various forms of arthritis and other inflammatory disorders.
Aggravating injuries include shoulder dislocation and broken arms, rotator cuff tearing, and falls or blows to your torso. In addition, shoulders tend to carry problems with other parts of your body, so that even heart disease or gallbladder problems can show up as “referred pain” in your shoulders.
What does physical therapy do to stop shoulder pain and stiffness?
Our highly trained physical therapists work with you on a variety of stretching and rehabilitation exercises to bring pain-free mobility back to your shoulder. A complete evaluation will verify exactly where the problem is, as well as its severity.
To be most effective, most physical therapy for shoulder pain will incorporate strength and flexibility in entire shoulder moves. Stretching is key for improving flexibility. Your physical therapist will likely talk you through stretching moves, as well as gently manipulate your muscles.
For building strength, your physical therapy will probably involve some form of resistance training, such as with free weights, long rubber bands, or even cycles that you pedal with your hands.
Ready to get started?
Whether you’re in need of post-surgical rehab or are hoping to avoid surgery, our comprehensive treatment plan is designed to both target the various parts of your complex shoulder system, and to keep you motivated throughout the session.
Contact us at to make an appointment online to learn how our physical therapist can help you quickly relieve your shoulder pain.
Sprains and strains are among the most commonly experienced overuse injuries in the shoulder area. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far or torn. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or torn. Strains and sprains can result in an ongoing shoulder pain that may make it difficult to partake in exercise or even daily tasks. If the strain or sprain is minor, it can sometimes be iced at home and healed with rest. More severe strains and sprains will often require physical therapy treatments. Additional shoulder injuries include a torn cartilage, dislocation, tendinitis, frozen shoulder, and arthritis.
Your shoulders can accomplish several physical feats due to their structure – however, this also means that they are susceptible to an increased risk of injury because of their complexity. If something becomes damaged in the make-up of the shoulders, pain and discomfort can develop. This pain may range from a dull ache to shooting pains, depending on the severity of the condition. If you are experiencing severe pain, or pain lasting three months or longer, it could be indicative of a deeper issue.
If your shoulder is causing you discomfort, physical therapy is the best way to ensure the highest rate of relief. Our physical therapists are highly trained to help improve the flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder, in addition to relieving your pain and discomfort. This will be done through an individualized treatment plan designed specifically for you, and may include any combination of treatment methods as your physical therapist deems fit, including manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, electrical nerve stimulation, or ultrasound. Your physical therapist will also prescribe targeted exercises and stretches to help regain your optimal shoulder function.
Two of the biggest goals of physical therapy are 1) to alleviate your pain and 2) to improve your function. Your physical therapist will work with you to make sure that both of these are achieved throughout your physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy has been proven to manage the pain of several conditions, and in many cases, it has even been proven to eliminate shoulder pain altogether, thus making the need for harmful drugs or surgical intervention obsolete.