Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain
You are here because you have shoulder pain when…
You reach overhead
Lift Something Heavy
Hook Your Bra
Reach into your back pocket
Reach behind your back
Put on a jacket
Have a nagging pain that won’t go away
Discover How to Eliminate Your Shoulder Pain
Free consultation with a doctor of physical therapy who specializes in shoulder pain
Attend a FREE live Shoulder Pain elimination workshop
Discover How to Eliminate Your Shoulder Pain at One of Our FREE Shoulder Pain Elimination Workshops
Therapy for Shoulder Pain
Do you ever have pain in your shoulder when lifting overhead? Shoulder pain while sleeping? Shoulder pain limiting your workouts? Not sure if your shoulder pain is actually a problem or just something that is going to go away on its own? Total Performance proudly serves the communities of Souderton, Horsham, Hatfield, North Wales, and Chalfont, providing treatment for shoulder pain, for knee pain, and for other kinds of injuries.
The Warning Signs
It may start with pain when lifting overhead, although not every time. Then the pain increases either in intensity or frequency, so maybe it hurts every day now, instead of every other day. Or perhaps you can’t reach completely overhead anymore, and you have to use your other arm to reach. This increase in intensity or frequency can occur over a few weeks, months, or years.
Eventually, people go to the doctor, and a lot of shoulder pain doesn’t show up on X-ray or MRI. Most people will be told that they have arthritis or some inflammation, be given some medication or an injection and sent on their way.
The rotator cuff is often involved in causing some shoulder pain and is what most people focus on when they think of shoulder pain. The rotator cuff consists of four muscles that are in your shoulder, and some are more likely to tear. Unfortunately, this is the first thing that people think of when they have shoulder pain, so they will often avoid getting help because they think their rotator cuff tear means surgery, instead of thinking to treat their shoulder when they first start feeling pain.
Is It a Rotator Cuff Tear?
Most cuff tears, if they are caught early enough, are fixable without surgery. Most doctors won’t operate on small tears and treatment has been proven to restore the normal function of the shoulder without pain, even with a small tear.
It could also be a rotator cuff issue without being a tear. It could be a rotator cuff tendinitis, which is an inflammation of the rotator cuff, though if the inflammation is left untreated it could eventually lead to a rotator cuff tear. One of the big things that we see with shoulder pain is compensation. Inflammation, rotator cuff tears, bursitis, tendinitis – they all go hand in hand with compensation.
What Is Compensation?
Compensation is when you move your shoulder differently, shrug your shoulders, or change how you use your shoulder in some way, that creates knots in the muscle. These knots cause pain that can get worse over time.
The worst part about compensation is that you don’t even know you are doing it. Your body is designed to protect itself. You will learn different ways to move your shoulder so that it won’t hurt. These different movements are small but do not create knots and pain in the muscles.
This is why the pain comes and goes. The knots are worse some days than others, causing greater pain, and sometimes they are relaxed and the shoulder hurts less. Eventually they get to a point where they no longer relax, and the pain becomes constant.
What’s the True Cause of My Inflammation?
While there are many factors that feed into inflammation, one of the biggest causes of inflammation is posture.
Most of the time, people are slumped in front of their keyboard or smartphones. When you are slumped over, you wind up closing off your shoulders and actually pinching one of your rotator cuff muscles. You can watch the video below to get a better understanding of what that looks like and where that occurs.
When you roll your shoulders up back and drop them down, there’s a nice space in between the top of your shoulder and your humerus (arm bone). This will open up space for the muscle to move without being pinched in between the two bones.
When you pinch this muscle, you can cause inflammation or impingement, so when you lift overhead you close the space and cause the muscle to be pinched. Eventually, the muscle becomes so inflamed that it fills the entire space, so it doesn’t matter if you are sitting in a correct posture or not. You can experience the pain not only when you are moving, but also when you are not using your shoulders.
Practice Proper Posture
One of the things you can do right now just rolls your shoulders up back and drop them down, or just try and push your shoulders down.
If you find your shoulders drop down, you are in a compensatory pattern. You’re in a pattern you probably didn’t even realize. Most likely, you didn’t realize your shoulders were elevated into your ears. This compensation pattern is likely to cause you shoulder pain.
Why Don’t Injections Work?
Many people with shoulder pain get injections to help with the pain. While the injection will stop the pain sometimes, it won’t cure the problem. That is why people always need another injection eventually.
So what can you do to solve the problem if your shoulder hurts, and not just put a bandaid on it? Watch the video below to see the top 3 shoulder exercises.
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