Aching Shoulders?

Aching shoulders? Therapist's working with an older lady's sore shoulder.

The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body. Unlike most other joints in the body, the shoulder is held in alignment almost entirely by the strength of soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments. This plus the shoulder’s superlative capacity for movement make it one of the body’s most vulnerable regions for injury, pain, and dysfunction. In fact, shoulder pain is commonly referred to as the second most common orthopedic complaint in health care (behind low back pain). The good news is that soft tissues tend to be highly adaptable (as opposed to bone), so many shoulder complaints can be resolved through conservative measures. Most shoulder complaints are the result of overuse, bad posture, disuse, and/or incomplete recovery from an earlier injury.  Physical therapy can be helpful in providing relief from shoulder pain by teaching specified stretches and exercises.

Education & Adaptive Approach:

• Workplace ergonomics

• Sports technique

• Sports equipment

• Sleeping posture

• Protective equipment

• Adaptive equipment – especially where full recovery is elusive as in some arthritis cases

• Adaptive techniques for daily living

Strengthening & Flexibility Approach:

• Complete orthopedic testing including neck, spine, and elbow to identify all involved structures

• Mobilization: passive joint, soft tissue, traction, transverse friction massage

• Targeted stretching and strengthening

• Customized home exercise plan

• Posture analysis / correction (especially rounded shoulders and forward head posture)

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