Shoulder pain can disrupt your life. It can interfere with your ability to reach, lift, carry, sleep and many other everyday tasks. Shoulder pain might be stemming from an issue in the shoulder itself, or it might be referred from the neck. Imaging of the neck or shoulder might be needed, but oftentimes a specially trained doctor or therapist can perform various tests to determine the root of the problem. Costly X rays and MRI studies are usually unnecessary. Treating shoulder pain will save you time, money and unnecessary exposure to radiation.

You may have been told you have trouble with your rotator cuff, which refers to the four muscles that work together to stabilize and support shoulder motion. You may be inclined to guard or protect your shoulder because it hurts to move it. Not moving your shoulder might make it feel better at the time, but can also lead to more stiffness and weakness from not using it (disuse). This can become a bad cycle, as it changes how you complete your everyday activities, if at all. Fear of making a problem worse or causing further “damage” can lead to disuse. You might think, “If I rest it, it will heal and feel better.” Unfortunately, prolonged disuse can lead to frozen-shoulder type symptoms.

At PDR Clinics, our specially trained therapists perform a thorough evaluation to determine which muscles are tight, then teach you how to properly stretch them in order to decrease the risk of mobility loss &/or to increase range of motion. Our physical and occupational therapists also identify areas of weakness and postural issues that might be limiting function. Sitting and standing slouched can crowd the shoulder area, making arm movements painful when you reach. Our therapists will also instruct you in pain management techniques, which is a crucial part of therapy and can be very empowering for you.

You may be inclined to guard or protect your shoulder because it hurts to move it. The definition of pain is important here. Aching, burning and stiffness are generally okay to work through. You should stop exercise if you experience sharp, stabbing pain or cramping. Limiting exercise to your pain-free range of motion will help to increase strength and mobility without causing increased symptoms. In addition, ice may be used to decrease inflammation and help manage symptoms as needed.

Participating in household, work and recreational activities are important for both our physical and emotional quality of life. Don’t wait for shoulder pain to go away on its own. At PDR Clinics, our therapists will help you to improve your mobility, strength and involvement in life! For more information you can visit our website at: Treating Shoulder Pain now.