The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body. With so many muscles and tendons involved in shoulder movement, a number of injuries can – and do – occur in this joint.
“One of the common conditions we see at Results Physiotherapy is shoulder impingement––the irritation or injury of a structure inside the shoulder,” explains Amy Crouse, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT of Results Physiotherapy. “Patients will commonly report they have difficulty sleeping on the affected shoulder, a catching pain when they lift overhead, or a painful arc.”
Fast Facts About Shoulder Pain
- Shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal presentation in the primary care setting.
- 60 to 70 percent of people will deal with some type of shoulder pain in their life.
- 50 to 60 percent of patients who do not have shoulder pain show some kind of shoulder tear in imaging.
- Asymptomatic tears (meaning no pain or symptoms) account for 65 percent of tears
Should You See a Physical Therapist for Shoulder Pain?
Research strongly supports that physical therapy is just as effective as surgery at the one-, five- and ten-year marks. Physical therapy will reduce the need for surgery up to 80 percent.
Additionally, a manual, hands-on approach can be very valuable for treatment, as multiple structures in the body can refer pain to the shoulder and what we find in the clinic does not always match what we see on imaging.
“For example,” explains Crouse, “an MRI might show a rotator cuff tear, but that may not be what causes the pain. An individualized program consisting of hands-on manual therapy and exercise can be an invaluable approach.”
See a physical therapist if you have pain with strenuous activity, mild to moderate loss of function, mild to moderate pain with movement, or pain with overhead motion or lifting. See your primary healthcare provider if there has been trauma such as a fall or an accident, if you are unable to lift the arm above shoulder level, have significant loss of function, experience severe pain with movement, and/or have pain at rest.
Shoulder Pain Treatment at Results Physiotherapy
“Your shoulder is not your neighbor’s shoulder,” says Crouse. “At Results Physiotherapy, we use very specific exercises that are unique to your specific presentation. Other treatments such as taping techniques, manual therapy and trigger point dry needling can be great additions to helping patients reduce pain and improve the function of their shoulder faster.”
Schedule Your FREE Screening at Results Physiotherapy
In Tennessee, patients can go directly to a physical therapist for care – no doctor’s referral is required. As always, initial screenings at Results Physiotherapy are free. Request an appointment online, or call a Middle Tennessee Results Physiotherapy location near you.