Shoulder Pain: Causes, Relief Tips, Treatment Approaches

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Shoulder pain is a common condition that affects individuals of all ages. People who experience shoulder pain may have limitations with housework, yard work, sports and job-related activities. Although shoulder pain is prevalent in many people, it does not mean each individual has the same diagnosis, symptoms, or dysfunction. The shoulder is a very complex and dynamic joint requiring specialized treatment for each individual.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

There are many causes of shoulder pain. Some might correlate a shoulder injury with a fall or other traumatic injury. More commonly, we see people that have a gradual onset of pain that slowly worsens and limits daily function. Common causes of shoulder pain are:

  • Repetitive overhead movement
  • Fall onto arm
  • Overuse from overhead or throwing sports
  • Heavy weightlifting
  • Arthritis
  • Impingement
  • Bursitis
  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Referral from the neck

When Should I Worry About Shoulder Pain?

If you experience sudden arm pain with other symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or tightness, it could be a sign of a heart attack. It is important to call 911 and seek medical attention immediately. If you are experiencing excruciating pain down your arm or chest, tingling and numbness into the arm and hand, feeling nauseated or clammy, then you should seek medical treatment immediately.

If you have had pain more than two weeks, it is important to seek advice from a licensed professional. Physical therapists and occupational therapists are extensively training in the treatment of shoulder pain, conditions, and symptoms without surgery. Physical and occupational therapists can help pinpoint what structures your pain is coming from and create a treatment plan that will help you move better with less pain.

What Can I Do to Relieve My Shoulder Pain?

Since each individual experiences shoulder pain differently it is important to be evaluated by a licensed professional before attempting any exercise program on your own. If you are not having any of these symptoms, you might find some relief with the following activities:

  1. Avoid sitting in a slumped position for long periods of time. This can cause extra stress to the shoulders and neck.
  2. Limit repetitive, overhead lifting with heavy objects.
  3. Avoid long periods of inactivity. General activity like walking or light shoulder stretches can improve blood flow to the shoulder.
  4. Slowly glide arm up the wall within pain free ranges 3–5 times throughout the day.
  5. Try ice or heat for immediate pain control if symptoms get too uncomfortable.

overcome-your-shoulder-pain-todayHealthlink Physical and Occupational Therapy Treatment Approach

Healthlink has a variety of services that can help you overcome your shoulder pain. Techniques such as dry needling, soft tissue mobilizations, joint mobilizations, therapeutic exercise, and aquatic therapy are all useful tools to help you get back to doing the activities you love. Our therapists will listen to your concerns, perform a thorough examination, and build a treatment plan that works for your individual needs.

Email us at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you overcome your shoulder pain today.

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