Physical Therapy: The Simple Way to Relieve Your Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can present itself in many ways. Maybe you feel pain in your shoulder when you’re trying to get in a comfortable sleeping position, or maybe you notice it when you reach to your top cabinet to grab a glass. However your shoulder pain may present itself, it’s no secret that it physically limits your life.
There are many different types of pain that you may feel in your shoulders, such as soreness of a pulled muscle or the agonizing bone-on-bone friction of arthritis. Whether your pain is acute or chronic, Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic can help you manage it. If you have been experiencing shoulder pain that’s causing limitations in your daily life, contact our Bedford and Fall River physiotherapy practice to schedule a consultation and find out how we can bring you relief!
How did my shoulder pain develop?
The shoulder is an extremely complex part of the body. It is a “ball-and-socket joint,” meaning that the humerus (head of the upper arm bone) fits perfectly in the corresponding space within the scapula (shoulder blade). Each end of the bone is protected by a thick layer of cartilage that prevents the bones from rubbing together. The shoulder also contains fluid-filled sacs known as bursae that prevent the tendons from rubbing against the bones.
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 your pain is stemming from tendon impingement, it will generally occur as you lift your arm, fading before it is raised completely skyward. If your pain is a result of shoulder degeneration, it is likely that you will feel persistent aches every time you move your arm in certain directions. Pain from an acute injury can be sudden and intense, making it difficult for you to move your shoulder at all.
Common conditions resulting in shoulder pain:
The number of reasons why shoulder pain may develop is vast. However, some of the most common causes include:
- Dislocation. Dislocation of the shoulder occurs when the head of the humerus pops out of place. This type of injury is extremely painful and unfortunately makes you more vulnerable to recurrence after the first dislocation occurs.
- Arthritis. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common types of arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder joint experiences significant “wear and tear,” typically due to age or excessive overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system sees the joints as a threat. The immune system attacks the membranes surrounding the shoulder joint, resulting in pain and inflammation.
- Tendinitis. Tendinitis in the shoulder joint occurs when the joint is excessively overused. Symptoms include swelling and painful impingement when raising the affected arm. This typically happens due to the demands of a sport or labor-intensive job, which can cause the tendons to experience ongoing inflammation.
- Frozen shoulder. Medically referred to as “adhesive capsulitis,” frozen shoulder can occur if you have been bedridden for an extended period of time or if your arm has been in a cast or sling for a while. When you don’t have opportunities to exercise the shoulder, the tissues can stiffen up on you, thus causing this painful condition to occur.
Contact Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic for shoulder pain relief!
Our physiotherapy treatments can help manage your shoulder pain, no matter how severe it may be. Physical therapy is safe, non-invasive, and pain-free. Our Bedford and Fall River physiotherapists are licensed and dedicated to designing the best-individualized treatment plan for your needs. In fact, many of our patients have reported finding improvement and relief after just a few short physiotherapy sessions – and sometimes less!
At your initial appointment, you will undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine the nature of your condition and your needs. This may include a series of tests, used to get the best idea for treatment. Our physiotherapist may suggest taking X-rays to illustrate any dislocations or signs of arthritis. Range of motion tests may also be conducted in order to discover which of your soft tissues are contributing to your pain.
Once our physiotherapist has created your treatment plan, you will begin working on targeted exercises, stretches, and modalities. Treatment plans for shoulder pain typically include gentle exercises, which have proven to reduce the stiffness of frozen shoulder and ease the pain of osteoarthritis. Strengthening programs may also be implemented as a way to rehabilitate injured muscles or help stabilize a shoulder that is prone to dislocation.
If your shoulder pain is limiting your life, contact Kinetesis Spine & Joint Clinic as soon as possible to secure your appointment. We will manage and treat your condition so you can comfortably get back to your daily life!
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.