Shoulder Pain

Physical Therapy to relieve Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is made up of 3 bones called the humerus, the scapula, and the clavicle as well as tendons and ligaments. The acromion is the bony ‘bump’ at the top of the shoulder. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between the bony acromion and the rotator cuff tendon.

Shoulder pain can result from the following causes:

  • Repetitive overhead movements
  • Injury that results in the shoulder being compressed
  • Abnormalities of the acromion
  • Osteoarthritis in the shoulder region
  • Poor rotator cuff and shoulder blade muscle strength
  • Thickening of the bursa
  • Thickening of the ligaments in the area
  • Tightness of the soft tissue around the shoulder joint

It is important to get proper treatment for shoulder pain as soon as it occurs. Secondary conditions can develop in the shoulder tissues, including irritation of the bursa and rotator-cuff tendinitis or tears. Physical therapy can be very successful in treating shoulder pain. Our physical therapist will happy to create a treatment plan that is specific to your condition and goals.

Shoulder injury may have the following symptoms:

  • Restriction in shoulder motion with associated weakness with movement involving the shoulder
  • Pain in the shoulder when moving the arm overhead, out to the side, and beside the body
  • Pain and discomfort when attempting to sleep on the injured side

Some typical ailments with symptoms resulting in shoulder pain are included below. We have found success in treating patients with these painful issues. If we can be of assistance in diagnosing and treating your shoulder pain, please contact us via email or by calling (303) 536-1949.

Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis

Frozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder becomes painful and gradually loses motion. This loss of motion can last for up to 18 months. It can be painful and lead to a significant functional loss.

Shoulder Fracture

A shoulder fracture occurs after significant trauma. Falling on an outstretched arm is a common cause of a shoulder fracture. The collar bone, the scapula, the humerus or a combination of all three may be injured as a result.

Shoulder Impingement

The most common cause of pain when lifting your arm. The pain is often localised to the upper and outer area of the shoulder and upper arm and may extend (radiate) to the elbow. This syndrome is most likely to occur with people who use their arms above their head, particularly for repetitive tasks. It is also more common as you get older. Shoulder Impingement responds to non-surgical treatment in most cases and is usually completely reversible.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

The rotator cuff tendons attach to the arm bone in an area that lies directly underneath a bony prominence of the shoulder blade. The tendons can get pinched underneath this bone and become inflamed and sore. People who perform repetitive or overhead arm movements are most at risk for developing rotator cuff tendinitis. Poor posture can also contribute to its development. Our physical therapist can help you identify and correct risk factors for rotator cuff tendinitis, and help you decrease your pain while improving your shoulder motion and strength.

Biceps Tendonitis

Biceps tendinitis is a common cause of shoulder pain, often developing in people who perform repetitive, overhead movements. Biceps tendinitis develops over time, with pain located at the front of the shoulder, and usually worsens with continued activity. When treating biceps tendinitis, our physical therapist will work to determine the exact source of the pain by assessing the entire shoulder, and typically prescribe a program of activity modification, stretching, and strengthening to resolve pain and return individuals to their desired activities.

Shoulder Bursitis

A bursa is a small, fluid-filled sac that acts as a cushion between a bone and other moving parts: muscles, tendons, or skin. Bursae are found throughout the body. Shoulder Bursitis occurs when the bursa in the shoulder becomes inflamed. Bursitis is commonly caused by overuse or direct trauma to a joint. Inflammation can also be caused by rheumatoid arthritis and at times, an infection.