shoulder pain

Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is comprised of three bones – the humerus, the scapula, and the clavicle – and a complex of cartilage and connective tissue. This joint is one of the most mobile in the human body and allows circular, forward, and backward movement.

There are a number of conditions that can cause shoulder pain. The most common cause is a rotator cuff injury. People who reach overhead repeatedly, such as painters and tennis players, are most at risk for this type of injury because they tend to overuse the joint. Tendinitis, where a tendon becomes inflamed within its sheath, bursitis, where the fluid-filled sac within the joint space becomes inflamed, and tears of the cartilage or connective tissues are common injuries of the rotator cuff which often come from overuse.

Other causes of shoulder pain include a pinched nerve, frozen shoulder, or dislocated shoulder. A pinched nerve is a painful condition in which another structure impinges on a nerve. A frozen shoulder is where muscles, ligaments, and tendons stiffen and become difficult to move. With a dislocated shoulder, the head of the humerus comes out of the shoulder socket and usually has to be manually put back into place. Additionally, with age, the soft tissues around the shoulder can degenerate and cause pain.

A physical therapist will use a variety of modalities to treat shoulder conditions. Exercises generally consist of active shoulder motion, passive range of motion, using shoulder pulleys, scapular stabilization, and rotator cuff strengthening. Other modalities may include ultrasound, heat therapy, electrical stimulation, massage, joint mobilization, and cold therapy. All of these treatment modalities help decrease pain, reduce swelling, improve circulation, and decrease muscle tension.

Our certified and skilled physical therapists have helped many others recover from a shoulder injury and can help you too. Give us a call and find out how our therapists can help to get you out of pain.