Getting to the Source of Shoulder Pain


The shoulder is a highly mobile joint, able to move in multiple planes due to its versatile ball-and-socket structure. But the tradeoff for mobility is complexity, with multiple nerves, muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joint to stabilize it and produce movement. When shoulder pain sets in, it is important to work with a specialist who understands shoulder anatomy and biomechanics, who can pinpoint the exact source of pain.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is fairly common among physically active people, especially athletes who engage in sports that involve throwing or overhead movements. Baseball, tennis, golf, swimming, volleyball, lacrosse and many other sports can lead to overuse injuries of the shoulder. However, shoulder pain can also be occupational, or it can simply occur from lack of physical activity and aging.

Common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Shoulder joint instability
  • Arthritis or bursitis
  • Nerve impingement in the neck or shoulder
  • Bone spurs
  • Fracture

In addition to structural sources of pain, shoulder pain can originate from stimulus of the central nervous system through various neurological pathways. In some patients, central sensitization takes place, where the patient experiences a heightened sense of pain in the absence of, or out of proportion to, injury or pathology.


Shoulder Pain Diagnosis

Shoulder pain diagnosis includes a clinical exam that begins with a medical history of the pain onset and associated activities. The exam will include assessments for strength and range of motion, along with imaging by Xray, MRI or ultrasound to get a thorough picture of any structural abnormalities.

Shoulder Pain Treatment

In the vast majority of cases, shoulder pain can be completely resolved with conservative care, without surgery.

Common treatment approaches include:

  • Change or rest from activities that cause pain
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Physical therapy exercises to restore strength, stability and range of motion

Shoulder Pain Treatment in NYC

At NYDNR, we take a holistic approach to treating shoulder pain, considering each patient on a case-by-case basis. In addition to traditional physical therapy, we use advanced technologies and innovative therapies to restore function and eliminate pain.

Our treatments for shoulder pain may include:

  • ESWT (extracorporeal shock wave therapy)
  • Trigger point release techniques
  • Ultrasound guided needling therapies
  • DNS (dynamic neuromuscular stabilization)
  • Brain retraining therapy to treat central sensitization

Don’t let shoulder pain keep you from enjoying the activities you love. Contact NYDNR today, and get back to your busy active lifestyle.

130 West 42 Street Suite 1055, New York NY 10036
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