fbpx

Shoulder pain is a known complaint and physical therapy may be suggested as a treatment or as rehabilitation post operation.

The shoulder is a complex ball and socket joint that is made up of the humerus (arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone).

There are an assortment of ligaments which aid in supporting the shoulder, and handful of muscular attachments aid in moving the shoulder. The shoulder is an extremely mobile joint, providing people an opportunity to reach and move in many directions.

Main Causes

There are an assortment of causes for shoulder pain. Overhead activities, such as swimming or throwing a baseball, may cause pinching of the rotator cuff or biceps tendons. Sometimes, poor posture may place increased strain on the shoulder and cause pain.

Most Palmdale Physical Therapist will inform you that trauma such as falls or auto accidents can also injure the shoulder. Often, shoulder pain happens with no actual reason or specific injury. Shoulder problems that are known include:

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help support and move the shoulder. Their main role is to help hold the ball of the arm bone in the socket while the arm is moved. The rotator cuff tendons attach to the arm bone in an area that lies underneath a bony prominence of the shoulder blade. The tendons can get pinched underneath this bone and become inflamed and sore.

Biceps Tendonitis: The biceps tendon attaches your biceps muscle in your upper arm to the front of the shoulder. A large percentage of individuals think of the long head of the biceps tendon to act as a fifth rotator cuff tendon, offering stability to the front of the shoulder. This tendon can get pinched by the bony anatomy of the shoulder blade or by ligaments that attach to the collarbone and shoulder blade, causing tendonitis.

Shoulder Bursitis: A bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps body structures glide smoothly over one another. There is a bursa that lies between the humerus bone and the shoulder blade. This bursa can be pinched in the shoulder, leading to pain.

Frozen Shoulder: Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition where the shoulder becomes painful and gradually loses motion. This reduction of motion can last for up to 18 months; it can be painful and lead to a significant functional loss.

Shoulder Fracture: A shoulder fracture happens after significant trauma. Falling on an outstretched arm is a common cause of a shoulder fracture. The collarbone, scapula, humerus, or a combination of all three may be injured as a result.

Initial Treatment

If you have developed shoulder pain as a result of trauma like a fall or a car accident, our Palmdale Physical Therapist recommend you seek medical attention straight away.

Also, if your shoulder pain has lasted for more than two to three weeks and is accompanied by significant functional loss, a visit to a doctor, physical therapist, or another healthcare provider is suggested.

At first, a brief period of rest is advised for shoulder pain. This should last two to three days. During this period, you can apply ice to the shoulder to help control inflammation and provide symptomatic relief.

Ice can be applied for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also begin gentle pendulum exercises in this time. By maintaining the shoulder mobile, you can avoid a frozen shoulder.

After a couple of days of relaxation, shoulder exercises can be started to help improve the range of motion of the joint and improve the strength of the rotator cuff muscles. As stated a bit back, the rotator cuff aids in stabilizing the ball in the socket when you lift your arm, so strength here is important.

Physical Therapy

A visit to your local Palmdale Physical Therapist to help evaluate and treat your shoulder pain may be necessary. Your program will start with an initial evaluation.

In this assessment, the therapist will ask you questions about the nature of your pain and the aggravating and relieving factors. He or she may use a goniometer to take measurements of the range of motion and strength of the shoulder, and track the quality of your shoulder motion.

Then, special tests for the shoulder may be performed to help determine which arrangement is causing your pain to help guide treatment.

After the initial evaluation, treatment can begin. Your therapist will choose therapeutic modalities to help control pain or inflammation.

You may be instructed to perform a home exercise program to help boost the strength and mobility of your shoulder. It is important to follow your physical therapist’s advice and directions . Ask questions if you have any.

Further Treatment

Generally speaking, shoulder pain lasts about four to eight weeks. After a few weeks of treatment, you should notice an improvement in your situation.

If you continue to have shoulder pain, our Palmdale Physical Therapist say you may have to see a specialist. They may offer more invasive treatments like surgery or injections to help treat your shoulder pain.

If you need an injection in the shoulder, physical therapy after the injection can help determine the cause of the pain and help avoid future problems.

If you do require surgery, our Palmdale Physical Therapist suggest you follow your surgeon’s directions to protect the shoulder. Post-operative physical therapy can help regain normal motion and strength after your surgery.