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Shoulder Pain

Is pain in your shoulder making it hard to reach over head, lift weights, get dressed, wash your hair, reach behind the back, or perform your normal work or home duties?

Does this sound like you?

We are here to help you find long term solutions!

a woman in a gray tank top and blue gloves.
a man doing a squat with a barbell in a gym.

Typical Shoulder Conditions we Treat:

  • Anterior Impingement Syndrome
  • Rotator Cuff Strains or Tears
  • Biceps Tendinopathy
  • Labral Tears
  • AC Joint Sprains
  • Joint Instability
  • Frozen Shoulder

Common Causes

  1. Impaired Mechanics: stiffness in the joint or decreased flexibility in the muscles leads to decreased range of motion; weakness and muscle imbalance, impaired posture
  2. Injury: sudden impact or load to the tissue
  3. Chronic compensations: a previous injury or fear of future injury can lead to avoidance of activity in certain muscle groups while simultaneously causing overuse of other tissues.

RecoverRx Performance Physical Therapy Approach

  1. Break the pain cycle through education, manual therapy, and increasing tissue mobility
  2. Improve the mechanics of the joints, muscles, and nerves in the area during daily functional tasks and exercise/sport specific activities
  3. Load the tissue to improve strength, power, and endurance to ensure that the tissues are prepared for all desired demands without being fearful of reinjury.

Shoulder Specific Treatments

  • Correct Thoracic (midback) Posture and Extension
  • Improve Position of the Scapula (shoulder blade)
  • Improve Position of the Humeral Head (most people get in a habit of sitting with their shoulder rolled forward, causing the head of the shoulder to sit at the front of the joint socket)
  • Improve Strength of the Rotator Cuff which provides stability for the shoulder
  • Improve tissue mobility through massage, instrument assisted mobilization, cupping, & dry needling

  • Decrease nerve sensitivity (numbness, tingling, pain that extends down the arm)through specific nerve exercises
  • Progress plyometric and functional activities (throwing, catching, pushing, pulling, pressing)

Important Things to Understand

  1. Tissues Heal. The body is designed to repair itself, but sometimes our system gets stuck in the inflammatory phase of tissue repair and needs a little help to move onto the recovery phase
  2. The true source of pain is often poorly correlated with x-ray and MRI imaging results. It is possible to have tissue damage on imaging that causes no pain or functional limitations. And it is possible to have pain with no visible findings on imaging – usually a result of nervous tissue over sensitivity.
  3. Soreness after exercise is not the goal, but it is also not always a sign of concern. True strength gains require an overload to the system which causes micro-damage. As that tissue recovers, it does so thicker and stronger than before. Soreness should be used as a way to monitor if the tissue is ready to take on more load, should stay at the current level, or should back down training intensity until the tissue is more prepared.
  4. Return to previous/desired activities is almost always possible through good education, proper mechanics, and progressive tissue loading.

Check out Dr. David’s Blog “DO I NEED AN MRI FOR SHOULDER PAIN?” And this short video where Dr. David talks about when it might be necessary to get a shoulder MRI, and when PT should be your first stop (spoiler – most of the time, MRI is not necessary, and even after you get an MRI – most of the time the doctor tells you to try therapy before another treatment).