Shoulder Pain - Address it or Don’t Undress it | Total Performance Physical Therapy

Shoulder Pain – Address it or Don’t Undress it

July 15, 2013

“When did your shoulder first start bothering you?”  Many patients enter our clinic with the same story everyday, I felt a little pain around 4 months ago, I can’t remember when it started, or I figured I would just rest it and it would go away.  This is the absolute worse approach to a problem in your body and in life.  You have to address your issues as soon as you first notice them or it can lead to an avalanche of other problems that you will not be able to withstand, causing major deficiencies with performing normal tasks of daily living or your favorite recreational activities.  Some of the symptoms that you may be experiencing along with shoulder pain could be bruising, redness, swelling, loss of motion, or asymmetrical shape of shoulder as compared to the opposite side.

This is the picture of the bursa and the bones of the shoulder.
This is the picture of the bursa and the bones of the shoulder.

The shoulder pain that you are experiencing may stem from a problem in the glenohumeral/shoulder joint, a tear or inflammation in the many muscles or tendons surrounding the joint, in the ligaments that keep the bones in and around the shoulder joint together, or in the nerves that supply innervation to the shoulder muscles.

Tendonitis, bursitis, shoulder impingement, rotator cuff tear, and frozen shoulder are all some of the very common shoulder disorders that we treat at Total Performance Physical Therapy.  Stress and bad posture are contributing factors to pain in the shoulder, as well.  The common denominator in most of the above is that the patient felt that something was wrong and waited before seeking a PT consultation. All of these disorders can lead to muscle atrophy, or further disuse of your arm and extreme pain if left untreated.  Not only will avoiding shoulder pain hurt your body, it will hurt your wallet, as healthcare costs are exponentially higher the more debilitating the disorder is.

Another, even more important, reason to seek physical therapy help when dealing with shoulder pain, is that it may originate from what we call referred pain.  Referred pain is pain that stems from a problem in another area of the body that is transmitting the painful feeling to either shoulder as a symptom/response.  Common problems involving the chest and abdomen refer pain to the shoulder, so this may be your first indication that something has happened that requires immediate medical attention.  Through a physical therapy examination, we know the questions to ask and the signs to look for when determining if your shoulder pain is from a musculoskeletal origin or whether referral to your primary physician or hospital is indicated.  Shoulder pain can be a symptom of an important underlying health issue that you may be unaware of such as heart disease, gallbladder disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart attacks, spinal cord injury, pneumothorax, or even an ectopic pregnancy.

At Total Performance Physical Therapy, Dr. Heather Moore is an expert in the field, having treated thousands of patients with shoulder disorders similar to the one you may be suffering from right now.  She has an array of knowledge on the diagnosis and treatment that helps to alleviate her patients of their pain.  Save money, save time, and save yourself the agony of pain and dysfunction. Staying active and exercising properly are great ways to prevent pain and injury, but if you are unable to avoid shoulder pain then do not hesitate to call Total Performance PT in North Wales and schedule an evaluation today.