What are the causes of shoulder pain?
The shoulder consists of multiple joints along with muscles and tendons which allow your arm to move freely. Considered the most mobile joint in the body, the shoulder gets its large range of motion from its bony architecture. The rotator cuff is the most commonly injured structure in the shoulder because its function is to control and stabilize motion at the joint surfaces throughout the many different positions the shoulder can achieve. Any injury to the rotator cuff can cause pain when trying to move your arm around or lift your arm above your head. Pain at night, particularly when rolling onto the affected shoulder is a hallmark of rotator cuff pathology.
Shoulder injuries can occur from a large variety of activities such as manual labor, sports, and even simple repetitive movement. Diseases of the neck, liver, heart, lungs, or gallbladder can also be disguised as pain in the shoulder. While surgery is sometimes required to treat certain conditions of the shoulder, physical therapy can be a highly effective way to treat shoulder pain.
Possible reasons for shoulder pain:
- Tendon tear in the shoulder
- Tendon inflammation / degeneration in the shoulder
- Instability in the shoulder
- Fracture or broken bone
- Frozen shoulder
- Labral tear
- Shoulder dislocation
Can physical therapy help in rotator cuff problems?
The rotator cuff itself consists 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. 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.
What Kind Of Exercises Can Help Me For Shoulder Pain?
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 experiencing. 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. Simple use of thera bands and shoulder pulley can help some of the simple aches of your shoulder. 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 significant, please consult with one of our expert staff physical therapist before starting any shoulder exercises.
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