Shoulder pain can be severely limiting in all aspects of life and can greatly interfere with your quality of life. Seeking early physical therapy treatment may help to prevent worsening of symptoms or further injury.
Shoulder pain can occur with movement, at rest, or both. Pain can be noticed in the front or back of the shoulder, near the shoulder blade (scapula), or deep inside the shoulder. Sometimes patients note that the pain is felt throughout the outside of the shoulder. Shoulder pain can also be accompanied by pain that feels it is shooting down the arm or neck pain.
There are various reasons as to why one may experience shoulder pain. A common cause for shoulder pain is impingement syndrome, which is a diagnosis term used to describe bony structures pressing on a tendon - typically the supraspinatus tendon. Other reasons are rotator cuff muscle or tendon tears, shoulder dislocation, arthritis, postural impairments, or frozen shoulder.
Your physical therapist will first take a history of your symptoms, including questions to understand your pain pattern, history of symptoms, how your symptoms affect your function throughout the day, and your therapy goals. Next, your therapist will perform a thorough examination of your hip mobility, strength, muscle flexibility, and ability to perform functional activities (such as reaching to a high shelf). Performing a comprehensive evaluation will help the therapist to understand the cause of the symptoms and how to treat it.
Treatment and Exercises
After careful examination, Your physical therapist will create a personalized program to create a program aimed to reach your goals. The program will involve manual therapy and exercises to safely improve the flexibility and mobility of your shoulder, improve strength of the surrounding muscles, reduce pain, and teach you ways to manage the symptoms so you can get back to doing what you love.
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