One of the most common physical complaints is shoulder pain. The shoulder is made up of several joints combined with tendons and muscles that allow a great range of motion in the arm. Because the shoulder contains so many different structures, it is vulnerable to a variety of problems. The rotator cuff is a frequent source of pain in the shoulder. Pain can be the result of:
Tendonitis – The rotator cuff tendons can be irritated or damaged.
Bursitis – The bursa becomes inflamed and swells with fluid.
Impingement – The space between the shoulder blade and rotator cuff narrows. This causes rubbing against (or “impinging” on) the tendon and the bursa, causing irritation and pain.
Rotator cuff pain is common in both young athletes and middle-aged people. Young athletes who use their arms overhead for swimming, baseball, and tennis are particularly vulnerable. Those who do repetitive lifting or overhead activities using the arm, such as paper hanging, construction, or painting are also susceptible.
Pain may also develop as the result of a minor injury. Sometimes, it occurs with no apparent cause. Symptoms can include:
- Minor pain that is present both with activity and at rest
- Pain radiating from the front of the shoulder to the side of the arm
- Sudden pain with lifting and reaching movements
As the problem progresses, the symptoms often increase:
- Pain at night
- Loss of strength and motion
- Difficulty doing activities that place the arm behind the back, such as buttoning or zippering
How Cahill Physical Therapy Can Help You
It is important to seek physical therapy for your shoulder pain as soon as possible. One of the highly trained specialists at Cahill Physical Therapy in Brentwood will evaluate your individual condition and focus on restoring normal motion to your shoulder and relieving pain.
The following protocols are important tools for rehabilitating your shoulder and rotator cuff:
- Sports specific training
- Heat and ice treatments
- Soft tissue mobilization
- Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF)
- Postural re-education
Once your pain begins to improve, your therapist can start you on a strengthening program for the rotator cuff muscles. You will also receive guidance on proper use of the shoulder to avoid further injury.
Stress reduction can play an important role in recovery from injury. In addition to physical therapy, the right home remedy can help ease your discomfort further by improving circulation and relaxing muscles and joints.
Nutrition and weight control are also key players in your ongoing well being and physical fitness.