We use our shoulders for almost every movement we make, so it’s a big deal if they bother us!
There are numerous causes of shoulder pain, and the severity of the pain can range from the temporary discomfort from a pulled muscle to the anguishing bone-on-bone friction of arthritis.
Shoulder pain may appear as a result of an injury, giving you the sensation that your shoulder is immobile.
Shoulder pain can also manifest itself in a variety of ways, such as when you reach for the top shelf to put away dishes or when you struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position.
Whatever the cause of your shoulder pain, Base Physical Therapy is committed to providing you with natural pain management options.
Schedule an appointment at our Union Square & Brooklyn physical therapy clinic today to learn more about our shoulder pain treatment options!
Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:
Tendinitis occurs when the shoulder joint is excessively overused typically due to the physical demands of a person’s job, overhead activity, or sport.
Another factor for tendinitis is also poor posture because this alters the normal forces on the tendons, and can set you up for tendon injury.
This causes the tendons to undergo ongoing inflammation, resulting in swelling and painful impingement when raising your arm.
Frozen shoulder results in a painful loss of motion in the shoulder with a tightening of the shoulder joint that severely limits motion. It is also known as “adhesive capsulitis.”
This condition can occur if your arm has been in a cast or sling for a while, or if you have been bedridden for an extended period.
Some ethnicities are more predisposed, and women from 40-60 years of age tend to have more instances of this condition than men.
Impingement typically occurs because of abnormal movement and tracking of the humeral head as you lift your arm overhead.
Pain typically occurs when lifting your arm at or above 90 degrees.
The two main forms of arthritis that affect the shoulder are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Both of these result in loss of motion, weakness to the shoulder muscles, and difficulty performing normal, daily tasks.
Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system decides to attack the membranes surrounding the shoulder joint, resulting in pain and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder joint experiences significant “wear and tear,” typically due to age or excessive overuse.
The shoulder is a “ball-and-socket” joint, which means that the head of the upper arm bone, or “humerus,” fits perfectly into the corresponding space within the shoulder blade, or “scapula,” and the ends of the bones are protected by a thick layer of cartilage, preventing friction between the bones.
Tendons are also protected from rubbing against the bones by fluid-filled bags known as “bursae.” Tendons connect the bones of the shoulder to a group of bones called the rotator cuff.
Your shoulders are capable of a wide range of physical feats. They have the most range of motion of any joint in your body! However, the possibility of pain and discomfort comes with its own set of complications.
The type of pain you experience in your shoulder may differ depending on what is causing it. Pain from impingement, for example, typically occurs when you raise your arm from a specific point in the range of motion.
A degenerated shoulder can cause persistent aches when you move your arm in certain directions. Acute injuries can cause sudden and intense pain, making the movement of your shoulder impossible.
Pain can also occur if something goes wrong with the complexities that comprise the mechanical interplay of the shoulder.
Physical therapy is a natural, simple, and comfortable way to relieve shoulder pain without the use of harmful drugs or invasive surgery. Our Union Square & Brooklyn physical therapists have treated a variety of conditions that cause shoulder pain, with many patients experiencing improvement and relief after only a few short sessions.
Physical therapists are movement specialists who are trained to prevent and monitor pain using a variety of diagnostic tests and methods.
We will look at your range of motion, strength, coordination, medical history, joint mobility, and joint motion mechanics during your assessment.
Once your physical therapist has determined the source of your shoulder pain, they can devise a customized treatment plan to manage and relieve your discomfort.
Gentle manual therapy may be part of your treatment plan to help restore normal joint movement, relieve soft tissue restrictions, and promote circulation. Specific therapeutic exercises to restore strength and a proper sequence of muscle activation around the shoulder joint may also be included.
Another advantage of physical therapy is that you will learn new ways to move your body to increase your strength and prevent future shoulder problems.
Rotator cuff injuries, also known as “torn shoulders,” are commonly associated with dull pain deep in the shoulders, arm weakness, difficulty reaching behind the back, and difficulty sleeping due to pain.
Surgery is sometimes required depending on the severity and situation, but proper physical therapy can often help reduce pain and restore strength to the rotator cuff to compensate for partial tears. If surgery is required, physical therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation process.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “A recent study from Finland asserts that when it comes to the treatment of nontraumatic rotator cuff tears, physical therapy alone produces results equal to those produced by arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair.”
Our natural and non-invasive methods at Base Physical Therapy can help relieve shoulder pain and heal rotator cuff injuries.
Shoulder pain may be taking over your life, but it doesn’t have to! Our Union Square & Brooklyn physical therapy practice will provide you with the assistance you require to resume doing the things you enjoy without pain.