Shoulder Pain and Physical Therapy

Shoulder pain can be a very difficult condition to deal with for many reasons. It’s not only very frustrating due to the discomfort it causes throughout the day and while sleeping, but also because of how debilitating it can be. Depending on your lifestyle and severity of the pain, it can prevent you from carrying out basic tasks that you need to accomplish on a daily basis. It is important to educate yourself on what can be causing this pain and what your options are to treat the problem.

The shoulder is a complex joint that is made up of three different bones: the ligaments that hold them together and a mix of muscles and tendons that keep it all together and in place. The three bones are the humerus (arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the clavicle (collar bone). The tissues that keep your arm bone securely in your shoulder socket make up your rotator cuff. Damage to these bones muscles, tendons, or ligaments that make up this intricate joint can cause discomfort or even serious injury.

There are many ways to cause stress to your shoulder, but the most common physical activities that can cause strain are ones that require you to continually reach your arms over your head such as swimming, throwing, and lifting. Reaching overhead can sometimes damage the shoulder’s tendons and can be quite painful. Another way you could be causing pain in your shoulder is by sitting and/or standing with poor posture. If you have less than perfect shoulder posture, the joint could be put into a position where it could become pinched.  A final origin of shoulder pain that we must look out for as we age is arthritis, which can cause pain and loss of motion in the shoulder.

No matter what the cause of your shoulder pain, physical therapy can help! Through hands-on treatment, physical therapy can help loosen any tightness you have in the muscles surrounding the joint and help you stretch in ways that can help bring back any loss in the range of motion. Combined with numerous strengthening exercises, electric stimulation, and hot/cold therapy, you can help strengthen the joint which will not only help relieve pain but also support the long term health of your shoulder. Feel free to contact us at Island Sports Physical Therapy if you have any troubling discomfort in your shoulder!