How Can A Physical Therapist Fix A Sore Shoulder?

Treatment for Shoulder Pain Caused by Common Injuries

The first step in managing shoulder pain is to understand what’s causing it. Shoulders can be hurt by a variety of things, including seemingly innocuous ones like sitting at a desk at work. Shoulder accidents can be neatly categorized into two categories: sudden injuries and injuries caused by overuse.

Sudden Injuries

Acute injuries, also known as sprains, can occur as a result of anything from tripping and falling on your shoulder to twisting the shoulder out of place. A variety of unexpected injuries can occur:

  • Bruises
  • Tendons that bind the muscle to the bone have been injured.
  • Ligaments that help keep the shoulder joint intact have been injured.
  • Injured nerves
  • Rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the four tendons that protect the shoulder joint is torn.
  • Strained muscles
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocation

You’ll probably see bleeding or swelling right away after an acute shoulder injury, and you might experience tingling or numbness if the injury resulted in a pinched nerve or a damaged blood vessel.

Overuse Injuries

Since overuse injuries grow slowly over time as a result of your daily activities, they can be more dangerous than acute injuries. They’re caused by excessive stress on the shoulder joint or surrounding tissue, and you may not even know something’s wrong until you’re dealing with bothersome shoulder pain. Injuries caused by overuse include:

  • Bursitis is an inflammation of the fluid sac that cushions and lubricates the shoulder joint.
  • Tendinitis is the inflammation of the tendons.
  • Strain on the muscles.
  • Frozen shoulder is a condition in which the shoulder’s range of motion is “frozen.”
  • Impingement syndrome occurs when the tendons rub against a portion of the shoulder blade during overhead arm motions, causing the rotator cuff tendons to become inflamed.

Although acute and overuse injuries are the most common causes of shoulder pain, there are a few other injuries that can affect your shoulder as well, including:

  • Irregular posture
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Herniated disk
  • Calcium buildup
  • Infection

Exercises and Stretches to Relieve Shoulder Pain

If your shoulder pain is the product of a wound that has lasted more than two to three weeks, you should seek medical help. Certain types of shoulder pain, such as rotator cuff injuries and frozen shoulder, worsen over time and can necessitate surgical intervention if other treatments fail.

If you don’t think the discomfort merits a trip to the hospital, a physical therapist might be able to assist you. This does not need a referral. Your physical therapist can use a goniometer to evaluate your range of motion and strength while monitoring the consistency of your shoulder motion after an initial examination and assessment of the pain. After that, the physical therapist would probably suggest stretches and exercises to help manage inflammation and alleviate pain.

The following are some of the most common exercises and stretches for alleviating shoulder pain at home:

Pendulum is a word that has a lot of different meanings. Begin the pendulum exercise by leaning over a table or chair and supporting your non-injured arm. Draw circles in the air with the sore arm dangling straight down. The circles should begin small and gradually increase in size, with periodic rotations in the opposite direction. 5 to 10 times during the day, repeat this exercise.

Arm across the chest. Hold your right hand out in front of your body, above your waist, to perform this stretch. Then, when moving the right arm to the left and across the chest, reach behind the elbow with the left hand. Lower the arm until the discomfort subsides. Hold this place for 30 to 50 seconds before letting go. Rep this stretch 3–5 times more.

Neck release. Slowly tip your head toward your chest while sitting up straight until you feel a stretch in the back of your neck. Then tilt your head to the left to stretch your right shoulder, or to the right to stretch your left shoulder. On either hand, hold the stretch for one minute. Deep breathing will help you relax and get the most out of your stretch.

Chest expansion. You’ll need an exercise band, rope, strap, or tie for this exercise. Take one of these things and position it behind your back, both hands grasping it. Raise your head toward the ceiling while moving your shoulder blades toward one another. When breathing deeply, hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat 3–5 times more.

If you’re having trouble doing any of these activities, or if the pain doesn’t seem to be getting better after about 6 weeks, talk to a licensed physical therapist about manual therapy. Manual therapy is a form of physical therapy in which the physical therapist addresses pain causes with their hands rather than tools.

Are You Looking for Shoulder Pain Relief? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical shoulder pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Physical therapy, without the need for harmful drugs or unnecessary surgery, is a safe, simple and convenient way to find relief from shoulder pain. A variety of problems resulting in shoulder pain have been treated by our physical therapists, with patients experiencing progress and relief after just a few short sessions, and even fewer! We will develop a specialized mix of physical therapy approaches to treat and alleviate your pain once we have identified the source of your shoulder pain. Gentle manual therapy helps to restore natural joint mobility, relieve constraints on soft tissue, and facilitate circulation while restoring strength and the proper sequence of muscle activation around the shoulder joint through precise therapeutic exercises. Finally, we teach you strategies to strengthen your power and to stop the recurrence of future shoulder problems. Don’t let your pain in your shoulder hinder your physical skills any longer! Our physical therapy practice in San Jose, CA, will give you the support you need to once again start living your regular life. To schedule your appointment and get started on your journey towards pain relief, contact Pace Physical Therapy today. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!