Types of Shoulder Injuries and What To Do About It

Shoulder pathologies are common problems that can cause pain, discomfort, and impaired function in the shoulder joint. These problems can be caused by various factors, such as overuse, injury, or degenerative conditions. Physical therapists are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat shoulder pathologies using a variety of techniques and approaches. In this blog post, we will discuss some common shoulder pathologies and how physical therapists can help manage them.

1. Rotator cuff injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to move and stabilize the arm. Rotator cuff injuries are common in athletes and individuals who engage in repetitive overhead activities, such as throwing or lifting. These injuries can range from mild strains to complete tears of the tendons or muscles. Physical therapists can help to reduce pain and inflammation, improve range of motion and strength, and promote healing in individuals with rotator cuff injuries. Treatment may include stretches, exercises, and manual therapy techniques such as massage and joint mobilizations.

2. Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis)

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is a condition in which the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful. It is usually caused by injury or surgery, but can also occur spontaneously. Frozen shoulder typically goes through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing. Physical therapists can help to reduce pain and improve mobility during all three stages of frozen shoulder. Treatment may include stretches, exercises, and manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilizations and myofascial release.

3. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the cartilage in the joints. It is a common cause of shoulder pain in older individuals and can be caused by wear and tear, injury, or other factors. Physical therapists can help to reduce pain and improve function in individuals with osteoarthritis by prescribing exercises to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility. They may also use manual therapy techniques, such as joint mobilizations, to improve joint function.

4. Bursitis and tendonitis

Bursitis and tendonitis are conditions that affect the bursae (small fluid-filled sacs) and tendons in the shoulder, respectively. These conditions can be caused by overuse, injury, or other factors and can result in pain, swelling, and impaired function in the shoulder. Physical therapists can help to reduce pain and inflammation, improve mobility, and promote healing in individuals with bursitis or tendonitis. Treatment may include stretches, exercises, and manual therapy techniques such as massage and joint mobilizations.

In conclusion, physical therapists are skilled in the assessment and treatment of shoulder pathologies. By using a variety of techniques and approaches, they can help to reduce pain, improve mobility and function, and promote healing in individuals with shoulder problems. If you are experiencing shoulder pain or dysfunction, consider seeking the help of a physical therapist to help manage your condition and get you back to your normal activities.

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