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Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Shoulder Pain

Unfortunately, many people suffer from shoulder pain which can be the result of many issues including sprains and strains, tendonitis, torn cartilage, frozen shoulder, bursitis, or arthritis. Whether you have a mild injury such as a muscle strain or shoulder impingement or if you are recovering from surgery, physical therapy can help rehabilitate you to your previous level of activity.

To treat should pain, a licensed physical therapist uses manual therapy techniques on soft tissue and joints that are intended to reduce pain, reduce inflammation, increase the range of motion, and reduce restriction.

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Benefits of Manual Therapy for Shoulder Pain

  • Decreasing the pain
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Increasing your range of motion

To learn more about the benefits of manual therapy for shoulder pain treatment, or to schedule your initial appointment contact us today.

Before performing any type of treatment, your physical therapist will perform an evaluation, talk to you about your pain and how you are feeling and may perform strength and motion tests. Depending on that assessment, they may perform some or a combination of the following types of manual physical therapy and work with you to develop an exercise/strength program.

 Joint Mobilization for Shoulder Pain

Joint Mobilization for Shoulder Pain

Joint mobilization is the careful use of force to move a joint in the desired direction. Gliding of the joint is used to improve motion and normalize joint function.

Soft Tissue Massage

Soft Tissue Massage for Shoulder Pain

Another procedure your therapist may use is massage such as effleurage a gentle gliding over tissue or petrissage, kneading of the muscle, or in some cases deep friction massage which is applied transversely to the specific tissue involved, this is designed to lessen scar tissue, absorb swelling and decrease muscle spasm. Lastly, trigger point therapy, a more aggressive technique includes strong manual pressure and is designed to improve blood circulation, elongate the muscle fascia and decrease muscle tension.

  Dry Needling

Dry Needling for Shoulder Pain

Dry needling uses a sterile needle to normalize the neural input of the contracted muscle fibers and the fascia, reducing inflammation, improving blood circulation, and thus reduces the tension in the tissue.

 Therapeutic Exercises

Strength Exercises

A strengthening exercise program is developed and tailored to the patient’s specific diagnosis. The goal of an exercise program is to regain flexibility, strength, and endurance. This may include the use of weights, medicine balls, resistance bands, and other types of resistance training to challenge your weaker muscles.

Mobility Exercises

Our licensed physical therapist will work with you to decide which mobility exercises are right for you. You will receive a home-exercise program that may include some of the following:

Scapular_Retractions_Arms_at_Side Scapular Retractions Arms at Side

Begin by sitting with your back straight and your arms at your side.  Slowly pinch your shoulder blades together.  Return to starting position. Repeat as directed.

Shoulder_Flexion_Table_Slides Shoulder Flexion Table Slides

Starting Position: Sit square facing a table. Place your affected hand on top of the table, use your other hand to lift it if necessary. Movement: Lean your trunk forward to effectively move your shoulder into flexion relative to your trunk. Tip: Keep your spine straight and breathe into the stretch.

Bilateral_Pec_Stretch_in_Doorway Bilateral Pec Stretch in Doorway

Begin standing with a doorway about 1-2 feet in front of you.  Bend the elbows of both arms to 90 degrees, raise both arms so the upper arms are parallel to the floor, and place your forearms on either side of the doorway.  Step forward with one foot so that it on in the other side of the doorway.  Slowly shift weight onto the front foot until you feel a stretch in your chest. Hold as indicated.

Foam_Roller_Angels_to_90_Pec_Stretch Foam Roller Angels to 90 (Pec Stretch)

Lay supine on a foam roller so that the area from your sacrum to your head is on the roller and the feet are flat on the floor with knees bent. Position the spine in neutral and work to maintain a neutral spine while sliding arms with palms up into shoulder abduction.  Prepare with an exhalation, and exhale as the shoulders abduct.  Hold as directed.  Repeat as directed.

Experiencing shoulder pain? Call us today at 303-409-2133 to request an appointment!