The Complexity of Shoulder Pain
Our shoulders are an important part of our body in daily activities, compromising stability for mobility. We carry the weight of the world on them every day, but don’t spend a lot of time keeping them in shape. Our shoulders are a complicated structure, having 26 different muscles working together like members of a symphony orchestra. Also, each one of your shoulders is made up of four (4) joints, which are connected not only to one another, but form the connecting unit to your shoulder blades, collarbone and upper arms.
Because of this interdependence, any problem with your shoulder often means trouble performing functions that require almost any kind of upper-body mobility. The positive aspect of this complexity is that your shoulders allow your body to undertake an amazing range of activities. On the down side, when something goes wrong with one or both of them, it can be complicated to treat on your own.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
The causes of shoulder problems can stem from a sudden injury, repetitive motion or a lifetime of poor posture, which irritates the joint structures (i.e. muscles, ligaments, joints). These conditions can cause inflammatory disorders or even various forms of arthritis of the shoulder joints over time. Other injuries to the shoulder include separation, dislocation, rotator cuff tear, capsular adhesion or a blunt trauma from a fall, causing a fracture.
In addition, shoulders tend to carry problems and pain from other parts of your body, so that even neck tightness, heart disease or gallbladder problems can show up as “referred pain” in ones shoulders.
What does Physical Therapy do to Stop Shoulder Pain and Stiffness?
Our highly trained physical therapists work with you on a variety of range of motion, stretching and strengthenign exercises to bring pain-free mobility back to your shoulder. A complete evaluation will identify exactly where the problem is and our therapist will treat the appropriate tissue to help with healing.
To be most effective, it is key to assess above and below the painful areas to identify the correct tissues to treat. You will go through the four (4) phases of the “Rehabilitation Cycle” to improve range of motion, flexibility, strength and functional mobility. Our physical therapist will likely do some hands-on, manual therapy along your neck and shoulder complex, including soft tissue mobilization, myofascial release, joint mobilization and other specialized techniques to help you get out of pain and back to living life pain-free again.
For building strength, endurance and coordination, your physical therapy will involve some form of resistance training, such as with manual resistance, free weights, theraband, machines and specialized equipment (blood flow restriction cuff, body blade, etc.) for specific, return to function training.
Ready to get started?
Whether you’re in need of post-surgical rehabilitation or are hoping to avoid surgery, our comprehensive treatment plan is designed to both target the various parts of your complex shoulder system and to keep you motivated throughout the session.
Call us today or make an appointment online to learn how we can help you Get Better, Faster and get you back to living life pain-free again.