The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body which allows us to move our arm in many different positions with ease. The design of the shoulder joint sacrifices stability for mobility which puts the shoulder at risk for injury. A painful shoulder will often make it difficult to move the arm to perform activities of daily living such as grooming, lifting, pushing and pulling as well as limiting participation in sports and recreational hobbies.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain can originate in the joint itself or from the surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons. The most common cause of shoulder pain occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff becomes trapped under a bony area of the shoulder called the acromioclavicular joint (AC joint). These tendons become inflamed making it difficult to raise your arm overhead and out to the side. This is referred to as rotator cuff tendinitis.
Rotator Cuff Tendinitis and shoulder bursitis most likely stems from repetitive movement, as well as chronic poor posture and can be referred to as impingement syndrome. Over a period of time the tendons of the rotator cuff can become damaged to the point of needing surgical repair.
Other conditions that can cause shoulder pain are arthritis, frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), shoulder instability and referred pain from the neck. Shoulder pain can be a result of an injury from over use and poor training during exercise and/or sports.
Treating and Managing Your Shoulder Pain
The treatment depends on the cause of the problem and should be determined by a thorough evaluation. Physical therapy is an important part of treatment and can help decrease the pain with the use of different modalities, manual therapy to help improve joint function, and strength and stabilization to help improve muscle function. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of the pain, one size doesn’t fit all.
At N-Balance Physical Therapy we begin with an assessment of the whole body looking to restore normal movement and function thus decreasing your shoulder pain.