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How to Cure Shoulder Discomfort

If you have shoulder impingement you may experience restricted ranges of motion, muscle weakness, and pain when raising you arms, sleeping, or with overhead movements. It is important to get this condition treated as soon as possible when symptoms are present, to avoid more significant injuries such as rotator cuff tears.

Shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition that occurs when the rotator-cuff tendons, ligaments, and bursa in the shoulder are pinched or compressed, resulting in pain and impaired movements. Impingement occurs when the acromion, or the bony prominence in the shoulder, compresses the rotator-cuff tendons that are beneath it. 

Causes that can lead to shoulder impingement:

  • Repetitive overhead movements, such as golfing, throwing, or swimming, or frequent overhead reaching and lifting
  • Should injuries such as a fall or contact injury
  • Poor posture and muscular weakness
  • Joint tightness or structural abnormalities
  • Osteoarthritis 

Physical therapy is a great way to address these impairments and restore function if you suffer from shoulder impingement. 

Ways that physical therapy can help:

  • Pain management– Physical therapists and athletic trainers will help identify painful movements that should be avoided as well as correct abnormal postures to reduce shoulder impingement
  • Manual Therapy- Physical therapists can use manual techniques to reduce pain, increase joint motion, and release muscle tension. These techniques may include joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, passive range-of-motion, and stretching. 
  • Range of Motion Exercises- Physical therapists and athletic trainers will instruct patients on stretches and exercises that increase shoulder range of motion.
  • Strengthening Exercises- Physical therapists and athletic trainers will demonstrate exercise to correct posture and strengthen rotator cuff and upper back muscles. Strengthening these muscles helps position the head of the humerus and the scaplula, and allows for proper shoulder mechanics. 
  • Patient Education- Patients will be educated on proper posture and mechanics that will decrease shoulder impingement. Patients will also be educated on a home exercise program with exercises they can do at home. 
  • Function- Patients will be educated and instructed on proper mechanics of specific functional activities such as throwing of lifting an object on a shelf. 

By: Michael Herbert Jr., ATC

Don’t wait until your problems get worse to get treated. If you are experiencing shoulder pain, LSTC is the place to come for help. Call our office TODAY, at 703-450-4300, to schedule your evaluation today!

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