I had just gotten out of a car wreck and my neck and shoulders were in horrible condition. people could barely touch me without my crying in agony. thankfully for Kristjan, I can now go back to work and live a normal life without pain.

- S.P.

The Simple Solution for Shoulder Pain Relief

Shoulder pain can present itself in a number of ways. You may feel it when you’re reaching to the top shelf to grab a glass or when you can’t seem to get comfortable at night, no matter how you try to adjust your sleeping position. Shoulder pain may occur as a result of an injury, leaving you with an immobile shoulder. The number of reasons why you may be experiencing shoulder pain is vast. Shoulder pain may range from a temporary discomfort of a pulled muscle to the agonizing bone-on-bone friction of arthritis. Fortunately, our Mobile physical therapy practice is equipped with the necessary methods and modalities for treating your shoulder pain. If you have been struggling with shoulder pain and you are looking for relief, contact Grelot Physical Therapy today to schedule your appointment and find out how our services can benefit you!

Why do I have shoulder pain?

Your shoulder is a complex part of the body. It is known as a “ball-and-socket joint,” meaning that the humerus (the upper arm bone) fits perfectly in the corresponding space within the scapula (shoulder blade). The ends of the bone are protected by a thick layer of cartilage. Fluid-filled sacs known as bursae also protect the tendons from rubbing against the bones. Your rotator cuff muscles come from the shoulder blade and attach via tendons to the humerus to stabilize and move it within the socket.

The shoulder joint is shallow, which allows for a great amount of movement of the arm.  This allows us to achieve a large number of activities that require reaching and twisting the arm.  However, with increased mobility comes a greater risk of injury and overuse.  The posture of the upper body: rounded shoulders and forward head/neck contribute to injuries.  With the shoulder blades stooping over the joints, tendons, bursae, and other soft tissue can get compressed or impinged as the arm is elevated or crossed over to the other side of the body.

Extremes of the already impressive ROM (as in cocking up your arm for throwing) can strain both ligaments and muscles/tendons.  The really fast and forceful acceleration and deceleration of the movements –controlled by the rotator cuff and other shoulder muscles can strain or tear the muscles. 

Repetitive activities, even those that seem relatively easy (scanning groceries) will wear out the tissues if repeated hundreds or thousands of times in relatively short periods of time.  This will result in inflammation and pain, and can ultimately cause tears in the muscles and arthritis in the joints. 

What are some of the conditions we treat at Grelot Physical therapy?

Due to the complexities of the shoulder, there are several pain-causing conditions that may occur. WebMD states that some of the most common causes of shoulder pain are:

  • Bursitis.  This is an inflammation of the bursa, typically caused by overuse.
  • Rotator cuff and Biceps tendonitis or tears.  These will often respond very nicely to the proper physical therapy treatment.
  • Dislocation. Once the joint has been “reduced” or put back in place, your best bet is to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles to compensate for the stretched out ligaments and joint capsule that got injured.
  • Frozen shoulder. Medically referred to as “adhesive capsulitis,” frozen shoulder can occur without any obvious reason, or if your shoulder has been immobilized because of fractures, surgeries or other illnesses.
  • Arthritis. Break down of the joint cartilage, either from overuse or excessive forces or injuries to the shoulder (osteoarthritis), or from a disease process when your immune system erroneously attacks the joints (rheumatoid arthritis).

Contact Grelot Physical Therapy for relief:

An early solution for shoulder pain relief is physical therapy. You should certainly consider us before contemplating surgery.  Often times we eliminate the need for harmful pain-management drugs or surgical intervention. Our Mobile physical therapists are movement experts, experienced in treating a number of conditions that cause shoulder pain. At Grelot Physical Therapy, you may find improvement and relief after just a few short physical therapy sessions!

Our physical therapists are trained to pinpoint the cause of your pain through a variety of diagnostic techniques. Range of motion and strength tests will be conducted in order to discover which of your soft tissues are contributing to your pain and “special tests” guide us in formulating the proper diagnosis. 

Once the root of your shoulder pain has been determined, your physical therapist will design a treatment plan based on your individual needs. This will typically include gentle but progressive exercises to achieve full ROM and good strength in the rotator cuff and scapula muscles.  They may also include more specialized techniques, such as joint and soft tissue mobilization, therapeutic taping, ice and heat therapy, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and dry needling. They will also give you advice on how to protect the injured area and how to progress as things get better.

If you are suffering from shoulder pain, contact Grelot Physical Therapy today to secure your appointment and get started on the path toward recovery!

What is the most common shoulder injury?

Sprains and strains are among the most commonly experienced overuse injuries in the shoulder area. A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched too far or torn. A sprain occurs when a ligament is stretched too far or torn. Strains and sprains can result in an ongoing shoulder pain that may make it difficult to partake in exercise or even daily tasks. If the strain or sprain is minor, it can sometimes be iced at home and healed with rest. More severe strains and sprains will often require physical therapy treatments. Additional shoulder injuries include a torn cartilage, dislocation, tendinitis, frozen shoulder, and arthritis.

How do you know if my shoulder injury is serious?

Your shoulders can accomplish several physical feats due to their structure – however, this also means that they are susceptible to an increased risk of injury because of their complexity. If something becomes damaged in the make-up of the shoulders, pain and discomfort can develop. This pain may range from a dull ache to shooting pains, depending on the severity of the condition. If you are experiencing severe pain, or pain lasting three months or longer, it could be indicative of a deeper issue.

How do I get my shoulder to stop hurting?

If your shoulder is causing you discomfort, physical therapy is the best way to ensure the highest rate of relief. Our physical therapists are highly trained to help improve the flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder, in addition to relieving your pain and discomfort. This will be done through an individualized treatment plan designed specifically for you, and may include any combination of treatment methods as your physical therapist deems fit, including manual therapy, ice and heat therapies, electrical nerve stimulation, or ultrasound. Your physical therapist will also prescribe targeted exercises and stretches to help regain your optimal shoulder function.

How can physical therapy help with shoulder pain?

Two of the biggest goals of physical therapy are 1) to alleviate your pain and 2) to improve your function. Your physical therapist will work with you to make sure that both of these are achieved throughout your physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy has been proven to manage the pain of several conditions, and in many cases, it has even been proven to eliminate shoulder pain altogether, thus making the need for harmful drugs or surgical intervention obsolete.