Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain Share

Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain Share

Shoulder pain is a common condition that can be caused by any number of separate issues and can range widely in severity. The shoulder is one of the most important areas of the body, as it directly controls the range of motion in your arms. When this area is sore, completing standard tasks and activities can become much more frustrating to deal with and difficult to do.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

There are many causes of shoulder pain. Though it would take quite some time to compile all of the reasons that shoulder pain develops, there are several common causes that you should certainly be aware of. Simply being in a car accident that thrusts you forward can result in a whiplash injury that affects your shoulder. Any activities that are completed with overhead motions may also lead to the development of mild to severe pain in this area of the body. These activities include everything from throwing a football to swimming.

When these activities are done on a repeated basis, the biceps tendons or rotator cuff can become pinched, which leads to notable shoulder pain. One of the less noticeable causes of shoulder pain is bad posture. The reason for this is because bad posture causes a buildup of shoulder pain over a lengthy period of time. When the shoulder is hunched, stress builds up in the area and eventually leads to the development of pain.

Any accidents that occur from slipping or falling may also lead to this pain. For instance, slipping in the shower could cause you to fracture a bone in the shoulder. Though it’s not one of the more common areas of the body that this condition affects, arthritis can also create pain in the shoulder. It’s also important to understand that shoulder pain can develop for no apparent reason at all. Thankfully, the types of shoulder pain that typically require treatment are the ones with apparent causes.

Common Shoulder Problems

There are several common shoulder problems that can lead to an increase in pain throughout the affected area. Tendonitis within the rotator cuff is one of the more painful problems, as it affects four muscles found in the shoulder. When the tendons just below the shoulder blade become pinched, they will become sore and inflamed. Tendonitis in the biceps tendon can cause a lot of shoulder pain and occurs due to the pinching of the shoulder blade. The biceps tendon is particularly important for providing stability to the shoulder. When it’s not working properly and in pain, you will be unable to complete ordinary tasks without difficulties.

Another common shoulder problem is referred to as shoulder bursitis. The bursa is a sac that rests between the shoulder blade and humerus bone and is filled with liquid. This bursa helps greatly with movement in that area. When the bursa becomes pinched, you will experience a lot of pain. A fracture of the shoulder is one of the more serious problems you can experience and primarily occurs due to a severe car accident or fall. The three areas of the shoulder that can be hurt due to this injury include the humerus, collarbone, and scapula. The larger the extent of the damage is, the more shoulder pain you will feel. Lastly, a frozen shoulder is a strange condition wherein your shoulder becomes increasingly painful over time, losing motion bit by bit. This problem can be devastating for doing everything from driving to writing a report. This condition has been known to last as long as 18 months.

How to Treat Shoulder Pain

If you’re wondering about how to treat shoulder pain that you’re currently going through, there are a myriad of treatments available for you to choose from. Since there are so many general causes for shoulder pain, these remedies aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Some treatments will work better than others depending on the reason for the injury in the first place. Due to the fact that many instances of pain in this area of the body can be explained by overuse of the shoulder, it’s important to understand that changing the way you perform certain activities may be effective at reducing the pain.

This is particularly true of any activities you’ve recently done that you’re generally not accustomed to participating in. As is the case with any other type of exercise, performing that exercise too often will lead to overuse since the muscles in the shoulder have yet to adapt to the activity in question. If you’ve pinpointed a specific activity that has caused this pain, consider ceasing this activity until the pain has dissipated.

Certain types of medication have also proven to be very effective at treating many types of shoulder pain. For instance, anti-inflammatory medications can help with both the pain and inflammation, while certain medications with numbing properties can be used to temporarily alleviate the pain that you’re experiencing. If you’re provided with a prescription for medication, it’s absolutely essential that you take only the recommended dosage. Standard painkillers have also proven to be a fantastic remedy for helping with the pain. The application of ice packs on a regular basis should be considered, especially if the shoulder pain is a result of an injury to the area.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

For shoulder pain, physical therapy can assist dramatically in reducing the pain or eliminating it altogether. By visiting a therapist, a standard evaluation will be provided as a means of determining the exact therapies that will work best for the pain you’re suffering from. Each physical therapy plan is tailored to the individual in order to heighten the chances of success. You will first be asked about how your pain started and what factors have worsened or reduced your pain in the time that you’ve had it. The answers to these questions allows the therapist to identify the treatments that work best for your situation.

The amount of motion and strength you currently have within your shoulder will be tested before any therapies begin. Several additional tests may be given in an attempt to identify how the pain started and the portions of the shoulder that are causing the pain. Once all of this has been determined, the physical therapy will start. No matter which types of therapies are used with you, all of them are designed as a means of slowly reducing both pain and inflammation. These therapies are highly successful and should display some quick results.

If Shoulder Pain Persists or Worsens

In the event that the pain you’re currently experiencing becomes worse than it was initially, you should immediately see a doctor about some of the more invasive treatment options open to you, such as surgery. In most cases, the pain will dissipate over a period of one to two months. Even in the first couple weeks of treatment, you should start to see some notable improvements to the levels of pain you’re going through. The most important thing you can do in the future is to keep your arm strong and stable. This reduces the chances of injury to the area and will ensure that your shoulder stays pain-free. Shoulder mobility exercises can be very beneficial in this regard.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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