Physical Therapy For Shoulder Pain

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Shoulder Pain

Kansas City Royals’ Danny Duffy, Seattle Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, and RedSox’s Drew Pomeranz – These are just a few among the best professional baseball players who have sustained bicipital tendonitis or impingement injuries at one point in their career. All are great pitchers who possess excellent skills, such as accuracy, control, timing, mental toughness, and a strong arm. But despite all these qualities, not one of them ever escaped the perils of a shoulder injury.

The Shoulders Are The Most Mobile Joints, At The Expense Of Stability

True enough that the shoulder has the greatest mobility among all the joints in the body, however the least stable. The shoulder is one of the frequently injured joints of the body, involving the surrounding soft tissues, such as the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Bony involvement is less frequent and most of the time it happens due to high impact or high-velocity trauma.

In our clinic we treat a variety of shoulder conditions including but not limited to:

  • Rotator cuff tears and tendinopathies
  • Bicipital tendinitis/tendinopathy
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Acromioclavicular joint injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Anterior shoulder instability
  • Proximal humeral fractures
  • Sports-specific rehabilitation
  • Post-operative shoulder rehabilitation (arthroscopic surgical decompression, rotator cuff repairs, shoulder replacement and others)

In most cases, Shoulder Physical Therapy will be enough to remedy these conditions, and in fact, it is one of the most heavily worked joint in our clinic.

Shoulder Treatments With Physical Therapy

The stability of the shoulder depends on both the static and dynamic structures surrounding the joint, more particularly the rotator cuff muscles. Shoulder physical therapy ensures that all these stabilizers are well functioning to maintain joint integrity and provide stability for various shoulder motions. Symptoms of shoulder injuries, as well as the post-operative rehabilitation, are managed using a multimodal approach. Some of the commonly utilized treatment methods are:

  • Therapeutic exercises to include stability training, strength training, and range of motion
  • Heat, ice, electrical stimulation, class IV laser, manual therapy for pain management and joint mobility
  • Functional exercises to return to a specific activity

A therapist specializing in Shoulder Physical Therapy will evaluate you to determine the most appropriate treatment for your shoulder. A rehabilitation protocol will then be developed based on this evaluation and in relation to your goals, as well as the need for the sport you are participating in if any. It is guaranteed that treatments are perfectly matched to your individual needs and goals.

In addition, patient education on shoulder pain will be given during visits to help you understand the importance of properly managing your shoulder condition. To maximize the benefit of Physical therapy and to improve the outcome, a Physical Therapist will issue home instructions and exercises.

A Conservative Treatment at it's Best

With the wide range of treatment strategies, Shoulder Physical Therapy should be considered as the best conservative option for managing your shoulder pain. A study recommended physical therapy utilizing specialized exercises as an initial treatment approach in the management of impingement syndrome before considering arthroscopic decompression, since comparison of the effectiveness between the two yielded no difference in terms of pain perception and function. Also, physical therapy exercises for shoulders promote a positive effect on chronic pain, thereby limiting the use of addictive pain medications, steroids and anti-inflammatory medications.

Call (215) 947-3443 to schedule your consultation with one of our shoulder physical therapy specialists and say goodbye to your shoulder pain!!!

  1. Mitchell, C., Adebajo, A., Hay, E., &Carr, A. (2005). Shoulder pain: diagnosis and management in primary care. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 331(7525), 1124–1128.
  2. Nazari, G., MacDermid, J. C., Bryant, D., &Athwal, G. S. (2019). The effectiveness of surgical vs conservative interventions on pain and function in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome. A systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 14(5), e0216961.
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