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Physical Therapy

Shoulder Pain

What causes shoulder pain? 

  • Shoulder pain can be caused by a variety of different things including injury, poor posture, inflammatory conditions or referred pain from other areas of the body 
  • The shoulder consists of 4 joints including glenohumeral, scapulothoracic, acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joint 
  • All joints work together to allow movement of the shoulder. If one joint is not working properly, it can lead to pain and difficulty with movement 

Common Conditions: 

  • Shoulder impingement: often related to overuse and repetitive motions leading to compression or “impingement” of rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder.
    • Overtime it can cause pain and movement problems in the affected shoulder
    • Can also be called subacromial impingement 
    • Symptoms: loss of range of motion especially in overhead positions, pain with movement, pain while sleeping and pain with throwing motions 
  • Shoulder Replacement: surgery to replace all of part of the shoulder joint
  • Rotator cuff tear and repair: the rotator cuff muscles act to stabilize the shoulder joint 
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis: overuse of the rotator cuff musculature

How can physical therapy help? 

  • Your therapist will perform a thorough examination and evaluation to discover the underlying cause of your shoulder pain. Common treatments include: 
    • Manual therapy- aids in getting shoulder moving properly 
    • Range of motion exercises- restores full pain free motion of your shoulder 
    • Strengthening exercises- increases stability of your shoulder 
    • Education- regarding proper posture and lifting techniques
    • Functional training- assists with returning you to sport or job duties 

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