Health Blog

3 Common Causes of Shoulder Pain and How Physical Therapy Can Help Relieve Pain

Imagine not being able to serve a tennis ball, swing a golf club, make a free throw or pass the football for the winning touchdown. You won’t have to use much imagination to envision these scenarios if you’re currently crippled by shoulder pain. Shoulder pain problems, such as rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder and osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, can place drastic limits on your life. Fortunately, physical therapy can provide non-surgical pain relief for shoulder problems, and you can enjoy this pain relief by calling our clinic today and enlisting the aid of our physical therapist.

Rotator Cuff Injuries, Frozen Shoulder and Osteoarthritis

The human shoulder is remarkably flexible, thanks to a complex arrangement of soft tissues, bones, cartilage and friction-reducing sacs known as “bursae.” But when any of the delicate components in your shoulder fails, the entire area may exhibit excruciating pain. Three causes of shoulder pain are especially commonplace:

  • Rotator Cuff Injuries – The rotator cuff is an arrangement of four muscles that gives the shoulder joint its ability to rotate in all directions. When these muscles, or the tendons that attach them to the bones, are subjected to the repetitive motions of tennis/golf/baseball swings, swimming strokes, etc., they can sustain micro-tears in the tissue. As this damage accumulates, inflammation and pain become more and more of a problem. It’s also possible to experience a major tear that causes immediate, acute pain.
  • Frozen Shoulder – Have you had your arm in a sling for weeks following fracture repair, shoulder surgery or some other event that required extended immobilization? If so, the connective tissue in the shoulder may have thickened and stiffened, resulting in frozen shoulder. Frozen shoulder can occur in anyone, but diabetics are at elevated risk for this pain disorder.
  • Osteoarthritis – The cartilage that cushions joints will naturally deteriorate due to a lifetime of wear and tear, resulting in the aches, swelling and stiffness of osteoarthritis. But the extreme demands of athletic training, competitive sports or a previous injury can hasten this process. If you can’t reach behind your back, osteoarthritis may be the reason.

Our Physical Therapist Can Restore Pain-Free Shoulder Function

Physical therapy can help relieve your pain and improve shoulder function, in many cases allowing you to avoid surgery. Our physical therapist will evaluate your current range of motion, pain patterns, medical records and lifestyle habits to determine the best physical therapy approach for your condition. Our physical therapist’s recommendations and treatments may include exercises preceded by moist heat (which boosts circulation, eases inflammation and loosens tight muscles). Your physical therapy exercise program might include:

  • Pendulum stretches, cross-body reaches, fingertip walks and armpit stretches to relieve the stiffness of frozen shoulder
  • Doorway stretches, lawn mower pulls, reverse fly exercises (with light weights) and side-lying external rotation exercises (with light dumbbells) to restore strength to damaged rotator cuff components
  • A combination of shoulder stretches, shoulder-strengthening exercises and light aerobics (which enhances blood flow to the shoulder and other parts of the body) for osteoarthritis pain management
  • In addition to moist heat and exercises, our physical therapist may recommend massage therapy, ultrasound therapy and other non-invasive techniques to get that shoulder pain under control.

Schedule Shoulder Pain Relief From Our Physical Therapist

If your shoulder simply isn’t letting you pursue the life you want, discover for yourself how physical therapy can help cast those limits aside. Contact our physical therapy team to set up a pain relief plan!

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Our Reviews
Tim Nash
Tim Nash
15:32 27 Aug 18
My first experience with OBTS was very positive. During the course of my 13 therapy sessions I worked with many different therapists and all of them were professional and competent. They were able to help me effectively control my pain without medication using their therapy program. Unfortunately, they could not get my physical condition back to the same ability as before. However, this is due to the fact that it was later determined by my doctors that I required surgery. I plan on returning to OBTS for my post-op physical therapy and have already scheduled my evaluation appointment. Scheduling seems to be a challenge sometimes but that's probably an indication of their patient's satisfaction and good reviews. Thank you OBTS!
Arlene Gross
Arlene Gross
15:58 22 Jun 18
Everyone that worked with me was helpful. I enjoyed watching the staff interact as they worked as they laughed and smiled making me feel that it was fun to exercise. My knee pain is less and I look forward to having the same results with my back.
Jose Ico
Jose Ico
12:43 27 Apr 18
My wife and I have been coming here for a year. They have wonderful customer service and the treatments were great. I could say that since coming here for treatments, I am now able to walk properly and sleep well at nights. They help you in the best way possible. The people here are great and we definitely recommend it to everyone!
Paul Grant
Paul Grant
21:51 03 Apr 18
I have read lots of reviews that say "the entire staff of ..." is great, and you know that it is BS.. .. Butt at OBTS that statement is true. The person answering the phone, appointment setting they work around my schedule. It is truly a team concept. Everyone that has work with/on me keeps me focus on getting healthy to play golf.... Even those employees that haven't work with/on me are upbeat, positive and encouraging both their patients and me..... follow up phone calls, positive, hand written notes of encouragement, reminding me to do my homework so I can play golf this year. Great Employees, Great Business!.
Diane Burns
Diane Burns
02:30 16 Mar 18
I’ve had an incredible experience here at OBTS. In just two and half weeks I’ve seen and felt remarkable results. My hip mobility has improved by 30%. I credit the excellent physical therapists and the deep tissue laser therapy for my gains. I’ve gone from walking with a limp and pain everyday to walking normally and know that I’ll be back to running in the future. Every single person is warm and friendly here. Great place!
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