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Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most common conditions that we see in our physical therapy office in Greenville, South Carolina.  It’s so common, we created a free guide to help people kickstart their recovery process.  The types of shoulder pain we treate include tendonitisrotator cuff problems, bursitis, impingement syndrome, shoulder instability, labrum tears, and frozen shoulder, and a variety of post-operative cases.

Shoulder pain can have many causes, but is associated with repetitive reaching, lifting, throwing, or arm-twisting.  This can create friction, irritation, and inflammation in the upper shoulder area.  Active people often notice shoulder pain lifting weights, swimming, or swinging their golf club or tennis racket.  Other common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Muscle imbalances or poor muscle coordination
  • Posture changes
  • Direct trauma (being hit, or falling on, the side of the shoulder)
  • Shoulder surgery or replacement
  • Calcium deposits in the shoulder
  • Overgrowth or bone spurs in the acromion bone
  • Infection
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, psoriasis, or thyroid disease
  • Muscles or tendons in the shoulder area rubbing the bursa and causing irritation

People with shoulder pain can have difficulty performing activities such as working, driving, athletic activity, or simply getting dressed.  Fortunatley, the majority of shoulder conditions do not require surgery and respond well to physical therapy.

People with shoulder pain may describe the pain they feel as:

  • Pain on the outer side or tip of the shoulder
  • Pain when you push with your finger on the tip of the shoulder
  • Pain when lying on the affected shoulder
  • Pain that worsens when lifting the arm to the side
  • Pain when rotating the arm
  • Pain when pushing or pulling open a door

Some of the common signs of shoulder pain include:

  • Pain with reaching overhead and behind the back
  • Difficulty getting a shirt on or off
  • Difficulty carrying or lifting anything heavy
  • Weak arm and shoulder muscles

Some patients may also experience:

  • Pain in the upper back or neck
  • Tight muscles
  • Pain that is worse in the morning or at night
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

The physical therapists at Movement Solutions design custom trailored programs to help people, ages 40-60, overcome shoulder pain and injury and get back to being active without uneccessary medications, injections, or surgeries.

This process often begins with a free 15-minute phone consultation.  This is an opportunity to talk with one of our physical therapists about your shoulder pain.  We will listen to how your shoulder pain is affecting you, discuss how we can help, and let you know what your options are moving forward.

For patients who are interested in working with us, but want to make sure we’re the best fit, the next step is a free Discovery Session.  This is an opportunity to ask questions so you can have clarity with what’s going on and confidence that we can help.  We want our clients to be certain that we’re the best physical therapist for them.

Once we know that working together makes sense, we move on to the Evaluation.  The purpose of the evaluation is to get to the root cause of the problem and know how long it will take to get lasting results.

Our treatement process of shoulder pain is broken down into three phases.

Phase 1:  Alleviate Pain

Pain improvements can be made quickly with hands on therapies such as soft tissue work, gentle joint mobilizations, or dry needling.  Often times it makes sense to start on with these hands-on therapy to calm down irritated and inflamed tissue around the shoulder.

Phase 2:  Restore Movement

Once pain is alleviated, we need to restore the upper back and shoulder’s ability to move.  We also need to restore movement quality.  We spend time on developing good movement habits to prevent falling into the pain cycle again.

Phase 3:  Develop Strength

To achieve lasting results, we need to develop strength and durability through resistance exercise.   The types of resistance we use at our office include bodyweight, bands, dumbells, barbells, and kettlebells.  We develop foundational strength to get the lasting results that our clients expect.

At Movement Solutions, our three-phase approach with physical therapy makes overcoming shoulder pain possible. If you have shoulder pain and you’re interested in a long term solution, we would love to talk with you about how we can help.  If you’re eager to get started but want to know more about cost and availability at our physical therapy clinic, click HERE and complete a short form.

If you would like further information on overcoming shoulder pain, we have a free guide that can give you further insight into your shoulder pain and can kick start your recovery process.

If you’re in shoulder pain but unsure about what your next steps should be, call us at (864) 558-7346 and ask how we can help.

Physical Therapist Dr. Tim Varghese

Dr. Tim Varghese

Movement Solutions

"We Help Active Adults, Ages 40-60+ Overcome Pain And Injuries And Get Back To Their Favorite Activities Without Unnecessary Medications, Injections, Or Surgeries."