Shoulder Pain Relief
All About Shoulder Pain: Causes and Symptoms
If you have pain in shoulder, it can be the result of many causes. However, the common causes of it are an injury of the rotator cuff or soreness of the subacromial bursa. This is a sac of fluid under the high part of the shoulder. Other causes of shoulder pain include bony abnormalities, injuries, osteoarthritis and thickening of the ligaments in the shoulder area. There may be soreness after playing a sport or lifting items. Sports enthusiasts often incur shoulder pain due to repetitive motions. Just about anything that requires you to lift the arms can cause pain or soreness. Shoulder pain can be enough to keep you up at night.
The Rotator Cuff: What It Is
The primary joint in the shoulder is formed by the shoulder blade and arm bone. It’s the joint socket that allows a wide range of motion. The rotator cuff itself is comprised of four muscles, which surround the arm bone. It keeps the shoulder steady when the arm is in motion. The rotator cuff can even be torn. The supraspinatus muscle sits on the shoulder top, and its tendon extends under the outside of the shoulder bone. Because of its location between bones, it’s a common injury. The tendon can become sore and swollen when it gets pinched between the bones. The subacromial bursa sac can also get damaged.
Frozen Shoulder: How It’s Caused
Frozen shoulder is another name for adhesive capsulitis. It’s a shoulder condition that limits the range of motion. It can be caused by long periods of inactivity, diabetes or surgery. Scar tissue may even form. As a result, the shoulder joint does not have proper space to rotate normally. Symptoms typically include stiffness, pain or swelling in the shoulder. Gradually, the ability to move the shoulder becomes less and less. Reaching for an item may even become impossible.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Physical therapy is a common and effective treatment for pain in the shoulder and shoulder rotator cuff pain. It’s also a non-invasive form of treatment. A physical therapist will perform a comprehensive exam along with an evaluation that includes strength and motion tests and check for any weakness in the shoulder. X-rays may also be taken to identify other conditions, such as arthritis. X-rays are a tool that helps determine the root cause of shoulder pain.
Physical therapy services may include manual therapy, range-of-motion exercises, functional training, soft tissue massage and strengthening exercises.
Manual techniques may include therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and iontophoresis. Depending on the type of shoulder injury and the extent of the injury, physical therapy may be needed for months. Physical therapists also help to educate patients on how to improve posture, improve gait and avoid future injury to the shoulder. Often, patients are given a home exercise program for lifelong protection and health of the shoulders.
The goal of a physical therapist is to provide shoulder pain relief, improve range of motion, improve flexibility and improve daily functionality.
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While there is no one-stop solution for shoulder pain, there are many exercises that can be done to help strengthen the rotator cuff region and ease the pain you are expereincing. 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, including therapeutic modalities and targeted pain-relief exercises. A couple common rotator cuff-strengthening exercises that physical therapists prescribe are wall push-ups and chair push-ups. Resistance bands can also be used to increase the strength in your shoulder and help relieve pain. However, it is important to note that if your pain is serious, these exercises should not be performed without the aid of a physical therapist.
When it comes to your upper extremities, injuries typically fall into two categories: acute or overuse. Acute injuries are caused by a single specific incident, such as a strain or tear. Overuse injuries are caused by excessive repetitive movements over time. Both acute and overuse injuries can range from mild to severe and can have a significant impact on daily life function. Shoulder pain can also be chronic, meaning it has persisted for 3 months or longer, despite efforts to relieve it. If you have been living with chronic shoulder pain, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as possible, so they can get to the root of the problem and treat you accordingly.
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.
There are several underlying causes that could result in shoulder pain. For example, a sudden injury or trauma to the shoulders can cause them to become painful. Repetitive motions can also cause shoulder pain, as your muscles, joints, and tendons are working in overdrive. While there are multiple factors that could be causing your shoulder pain, some of the most common include sprains, strains, a torn cartilage, dislocation, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, and arthritis.