We use our arms regularly throughout the day, so an injury to your shoulder can cause pain with even the most modest of movements. You’ll also find it difficult to stop using the shoulder while the body attempts to help it heal because even when you’re not expressly using your arms, your shoulders are handling stress during actions like sleeping or getting out of a chair. Instead of just trying to limit usage of the shoulder, people tend to find more success by actively treating the area with physical therapy. In today’s blog, we look at five shoulder conditions that tend to respond well to physical therapy.
Physical Therapy For Common Shoulder Problems
If you’ve been diagnosed with any of the following shoulder issues, don’t be surprised if physical therapy is in your future:
- Bursitis – The bursa is a fluid filled sac that helps to keep your shoulder joint lubricated so movements can occur fluidly. If this area becomes overstressed, inflammation can set in and lead to pain or fluid overproduction. Rest helps to calm this inflammation, but so too does strength training with physical therapy. Your PT can also help educate you on how certain movements can make the condition worse and how biomechanical tweaks can take stress off the shoulder joint.
- Shoulder Tendinitis – Shoulder tendinitis involves inflammation of your rotator cuff or biceps tendon. Your rotator cuff is comprised of the muscles and tendons in your shoulder, so if these tissues become overworked or injured, inflammation can set in and make movement painful. This is common in physically active individuals or athletics that involve a lot of swinging, like in tennis or golf. Powering through the pain only tends to let discomfort linger, but targeted strength training alongside a physical therapist can make these tissues better at handling stress and work to calm irritation.
- Frozen Shoulder – Frozen shoulder is a condition in which the connective tissues that encase your shoulder thicken and restrict normal range of motion. It tends to occur alongside other shoulder injuries or after acute trauma to the area. Any time a condition restricts normal range of motion, you can bet that physical therapy will be in order. Physical therapy will be your best bet at helping you regain as much range of motion in the joint as possible.
- Shoulder Tendon Tears – Tendons in your shoulder can tear after forceful movement or as a result of wear and tear over the years. Pain is typically moderate or severe depending on whether or not it’s a full or partial tear. Physical therapy can help these tendons heal, and if surgery is required, physical therapy will be ordered to help keep the area strong as the tendon heals.
- Shoulder Dislocations – The shoulder joint is the most frequently dislocated joint in the body, and after an initial dislocation, it’s more likely you’ll suffer a subsequent dislocation to the same joint. Don’t let the possibility of another dislocation put your sports season in jeopardy. Sync up with a physical therapist and get set up with a training routine that improves the stability of the joint and reduces your risk of having the joint dislocate again in the future.
If you are dealing with any of the above shoulder injuries, or if you’ve been plagued by chronic shoulder pain, reach out to the experienced physical therapists at OrthoRehab Specialists today.