Shoulder pain can have a variety of causes. One of the more common conditions in the shoulder causing pain is shoulder impingement syndrome. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, it can be the result of chronic and repetitive compression — or impingement — of the rotator cuff tendons in the shoulder, or from injury.

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“Sixty to 70 percent of the population will deal with shoulder pain at some point in their lifetime,” says Brandon Ellison, District Clinical Quality Leader for Results Physiotherapy. In addition, the most common impingement happens to people after the age of 40, starting in the upper arm or shoulder. If left untreated, persistent shoulder pain cannot only limit your activities; it can lead to chronic inflammation and even a tear, which may require surgery.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is a shallow “ball and socket,” so it depends on the ligaments and muscles surrounding it, including those of the shoulder blade and rotator cuff to maintain balance, stability and function. “Imbalance in any of these structures can lead to impingement, which is a pinching of the rotator cuff tendons or the bursa lying next to them,” explains Ellison. “The imbalance can be caused by poor muscle control, excessive motion in the shoulder, overuse activities or poor posture.”

5 Way Physical Therapy Can Help

  1. Manual Therapy – Manual techniques like soft-tissue massage; gentle joint movements and shoulder stretches will be used by your physical therapist to get your shoulder moving properly and to ensure you avoid impingement
  2. Pain Management – Your physical therapist will help you identify and avoid abnormal postures and correct any altered movement patterns to reduce painful movements. Manual therapy techniques such as soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization and trigger point dry needling can all reduce pain allowing better and easier movement to occur. Ice, electrical stimulation and other modalities may also be used to reduce pain.
  3. Strength Exercises –Your physical therapist will work with you in an effort to strengthen and retrain your shoulder muscles that may be tight or weak. You will receive a home exercise program so you can continue the exercises you learn in PT at home on a regular basis.
  4. Flexibility Exercises – You will be taught stretching exercises to help your shoulder and shoulder blade move correctly so you can begin reaching and lifting objects again without pain.
  5. Education & Training – Your physical therapist will teach you about your specific condition and how it is best managed from the PT standpoint, and how you can self manage. This may include workstation adjustments and how to correctly perform a variety of functions using correct shoulder mechanics – such as lifting an object to put it on a shelf.

About  Results Physiotherapy

Results Physiotherapy offers world-class physical therapy, a ground-breaking advance over the old exercise-only treatments. International studies prove our hands-on approach yields faster pain relief and more lasting recovery.

Our licensed therapists are trained in the newest, evidence-based techniques from around the world, combining the best of traditional physical therapy with expert hands-on release of muscle and joint tension. Not only does our therapy bring better results, it also just feels better.

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