Shoulder pain is a common diagnosis treated at our facility. Muscular and skeletal causes are normally to blame.
Examples of musculoskeletal causes include rotator cuff inflammation and tears, bursitis, rubbing of bone on a tendon, and lack of coordination of shoulder muscles. On occasion, nerves in the neck area may actually be the cause of shoulder pain. Past research suggests that treatments such as cortisone injections and surgery are not superior to physical therapy.
In addition, therapeutic exercises given by physical therapists have the added advantage of improving the health of muscles, tendons, and joints. Therapeutic exercises also address faulty muscle patterns that may be contributing to the cause of shoulder pain. Therapeutic exercises are exercises given at particular settings (repetitions, sets, ranges of motion, etc.) for specific goals. Three sets of ten are not appropriate for all goals and stages of rehabilitation.
The physical therapist may wish to address muscle coordination, improved tolerance of tendons to loading, range of motion, joint stability, endurance, or strength. Each patient’s therapeutic exercise program is unique to his or her condition and stage of healing.
Physical therapy also includes manual therapy. Manual therapy is more than just “massage” of muscles. Joint gliding may be included to improve normal movement. Joint gliding can also decrease your amount of pain.
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, consult with your physician to see if physical therapy is appropriate for you. The sooner the pain is addressed, the quicker you will be on your way to becoming pain-free!