Physiotherapy for shoulder pain
The rotator cuff is an important group of muscles which keep the shoulder joint stable during arm movements, and helps to rotate the shoulder. When providing physiotherapy for shoulder pain at our physiotherapy clinic we see a variety of injuries with the rotator cuff such as tendinitis/tendinosis and small tears. Tears in the rotator cuff tendons can occur from a traumatic injury, or from overuse. Depending on the size of the tear, and other factors, medical professionals will decide to either surgically repair the tendon(s), or suggest conservative treatment like physiotherapy for shoulder pain.
Tendinitis occurs when repetitive stresses to the tendons result in small micro-tears and inflammation. If this becomes chronic, then degenerative changes occur in the tendon(s) and it is now referred to as a tendinosis. The tendons of the rotator cuff pass under a bony arch to attach to the humerus. The tendons can be pinched in this area, leading to micro-tears and inflammation as well.
This often occurs during repetitive, prolonged overhead activities such as sports like volleyball or jobs like electrical or carpentry work. If the arm is held in one position for prolonged periods of time such as computer work, especially when combined with poor posture chances of repetitive injury may also manifest. If not properly managed, over time this can develop into a rotator cuff tear.
People with rotator cuff tendinitis or small tears complain of pain in the shoulder and may require physiotherapy for shoulder pain. Their pain typically surfaces when doing overhead activities such as brushing/washing your hair, reaching for something on a high shelf, performing overhead work, or from lowering the shoulder from a raised position. As the condition progresses, pain will likely be felt at rest and at night, especially if lying on the affected shoulder.
Pain is usually felt in the front or outside part of the shoulder, and may radiate down the arm to the midpoint of the humerus. Weakness, a loss of range of motion, especially above shoulder height, stiffness, and difficulty reaching behind you, or placing the arm behind the back is likely to materialize as well.
Treatment starts by managing the inflammation, guiding swelling out of the shoulder joint to encourage an optimum environment for healing. When providing physiotherapy for shoulder pain, practitioners at our physiotherapy clinic will use hands on treatment techniques, modalities, and give you at home instructions on icing and exercise. We will work to decrease muscle tension, correct posture, and ensure each area is moving properly to take stress off the tendons. We will develop an exercise program to strengthen the rotator cuff and the surrounding muscles to make sure everything is working as it should to help prevent this condition from returning!
If you think you may require physiotherapy for shoulder pain, contact our Oakville physiotherapy clinic today to book an appointment.