The shoulder is one of the most often used joints in the body. For this reason, it is also one of the most common to suffer from repetitive injuries. The shoulder is comprised of a variety of different joints, muscles, and tendons. Due to it’s complexity and frequency of use, there is a lot that can go wrong in the area when injuries occur.
One of the most commonly affected structures of the shoulder area is the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is actually a group of muscles and tendons that work to control and stabilize the motion of the shoulder joint when your arm moves and rotates. Injuries to the rotator cuff can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort whenever you attempt to move your arm or raise your hand over the head. This pain can result in a situation where working your way through even menial everyday tasks results in difficulty; it can even hurt your ability to sleep through the night.
Physical therapy is specially designed to help treat shoulder injuries in the safest and most effective way possible. Even in cases where the rotator cuff needs to be surgically repaired, physical therapy will be required to help restore strength and range of motion to the shoulder.
Shoulder injuries can be the result of a wide variety of activities, the most common of which tends to be overuse. Many manual labor jobs and sports activities require simple repetitive movements that over time can injure the shoulder. There are also diseases and other conditions that can present with pain in the shoulder as one of the main symptoms. For example, liver problems, heart problems, lung or breathing issues, and even gallbladder problems can cause shoulder pain.
The most common non-disease causes for shoulder pain include:
For the safest and most effective treatment, physical therapy should be employed instead of over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Physical therapy works because it targets the cause of your pain and strengthens the network of muscles and tendons to alleviate pain while increasing blood and oxygen flow, reducing inflammation.
Before your physical therapy program can begin, you’ll be assessed by a physical therapist. Your symptoms and the underlying conditions that may be causing the shoulder pain, as well as the goals you have in mind for your recovery, will aid your physical therapist in putting together a customized treatment plan that’s right for you.
Treatment typically includes a broad spectrum of manual therapy options, as well as exercises that are to be performed with your physical therapist during your appointments and on your own at home between visits. Your physical therapist will also coordinate your care with the rest of your medical team to ensure that you receive the best treatment required to make the most complete recovery possible.
With a shoulder injury, surgery is often indicated when the injury is a physical tear or the shoulder needs to be reconstructed. In these cases, physical therapy provides you with an extremely effective way to recover from shoulder surgery in the quickest and safest manner.
If you’re suffering from pain in the shoulder, get an assessment today. Call us now or click here to schedule an upcoming appointment with one of our licensed and certified physical therapists.