Shoulder & Rotator Cuff Pain
Causes of Shoulder & Rotator Cuff Injuries
Simple everyday tasks such as pushing, pulling and reaching can take a toll on your shoulders and rotator cuffs. It’s important to contact a physical therapist if you’re suffering from shoulder or rotator cuff pain.
This pain can hinder your ability to perform daily activities and may also be a sign that you have a deeper injury. A physical therapist can evaluate your shoulder and create a treatment plan for your specific condition. Beginning the right treatment plan as quickly as possible is necessary to maintain maximum mobility.
There are different types of shoulder and rotator cuff injuries that can be painful:
- Frozen Shoulder – This condition includes stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. A frozen shoulder will often go through a variety of stages that may occur over several years. You will likely feel achy, dull pain when suffering from a frozen shoulder.
- Shoulder Dislocation – This occurs when the shoulder socket and the ball of the arm separate. A traumatic event such as an accident or a fall can cause this condition. You would likely feel immediate pain and would have difficulty moving your arm.
- Rotator Cuff Injury – The rotator cuff in your shoulder is made of tendons and muscles. Bursitis, tendonitis, and tears can all occur in this particular area.
There are several reasons why you could experience an injury or pain in your shoulders. The risk factors for frozen shoulder include having diabetes and having your shoulder immobilized for long periods, such as after a fracture.
Rotator cuff conditions occur most frequently in people who move their arms in overhead motions. Repetitive motions are often the cause, however, rotator cuff injuries can also occur from a single incident.
A dislocated shoulder can occur when the arm bone pops out of the socket in the shoulder blade. This injury is often the result of a fall, a traumatic accident or a sports injury.
How Physical Therapy Can Relieve Shoulder & Rotator Cuff Pain
If you’re experiencing pain or injury in your shoulders, a physical therapist can evaluate your range of motion and functional abilities. The therapist would then put together an individualized treatment plan to relieve pain and restore mobility. Other goals would include reducing inflammation, decreasing muscle spasms and increasing the healing process.
A PT could utilize several different methods throughout treatment:
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
- Heat or ice treatments
- Electrical stimulation
Physical therapy can play a major role in your recovery without having to use invasive methods. Even if surgery is required, physical therapy can help you both before and after to improve healing time and increase your range of motion.