Shoulder pain is an extremely common problem we in our clinics. The shoulder is a very complicated part of your body that actually includes more than just the “ball-and-socket” joint that most people think of when they picture the shoulder. How the shoulder blade moves on the back and how the collar bone moves on the shoulder blade and on the chest are often the cause of shoulder pain.
- Poor sitting posture
- History of neck injury
- Weakness of the rotator cuff muscles
- Weakness of the muscles that upwardly rotate the shoulder blade
- Poor lifting mechanics
- Lifting more than 10 pounds several times per day (boxes, purses, grocery bags, children)
- Poor flexibility/ joint mobility
- Too much flexibility/ joint mobility
- Starting a new exercise program (yoga, exercise classes, weight lifting etc.)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is causing my shoulder pain?
Although rotator cuff issues are the most common cause of shoulder pain, nerve irritation is a close second and unfortunately often overlooked. If you have a history of neck pain along with shoulder pain, it is very likely that some or all of that pain is starting in your neck. The nerves that allow you to move your shoulder start in your neck. If there is any pressure on those nerves from inflammation, muscle imbalances or a disc injury or stenosis in the neck, then treatment of those injuries is necessary to fix your shoulder pain.
Muscle imbalances in the muscles that attach to the shoulder blade are almost always an issue. 17 muscles attach to the shoulder blade. Getting them to all work together at the right time is harder than it seems. If they are out of sync, shoulder pain is a common result.
How do I get rid of it?
Well, that depends on what is causing it. That is why it is so important to find the cause. The good news is that most shoulder pain resolves with physical therapy and does not require surgery. One major factor in the time it takes to heal from a shoulder injury is the length of time it takes for someone who is having pain to start physical therapy. The sooner we get our hands on the patient, the less time it takes to get back to pain-free living and avoid surgery.
Do I need to see my doctor first?
No. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are Direct Access states. This means you do not need to go to your doctor to get a prescription. We work closely with several doctors who specialize in the shoulder in the communities we serve, so if you do need to see a doctor, we will set that up for you.
Will my shoulder pain go away on its own?
It’s possible, but not likely. Unfortunately, most people who have a case of shoulder pain think “Well, maybe it will just go away.” The problem with that is, the longer you go with shoulder pain, the longer it takes us to fix it. Pain is a warning signal in your body telling you something is wrong. Waiting for the pain to go away is not a good strategy. The quicker you get in to see a qualified physical therapist, the faster you can be on your road to recovery.
What should I do now?
The first step to eliminating your pain is finding out what is causing it. Call 610-841-3555 right now, and schedule your Free Screen at any of our locations. You will get a free 30 minute appointment with one of our therapists so that you can get all your questions answered.
“When I got hurt at work I developed frozen elbow and had pain when I tried to straighten my left elbow. I had started
taking golf lessons that summer and realized after my fall at work I could no longer swing a golf club without pain, I couldn’t hold a clipboard with my left hand to take notes during corporate VP visits. I told Travis all of my movements that caused my left forearm to be painful, Travis developed a PT program that worked to get my left arm back to 100% – no pain that I can actually swing my golf club again and am 100% full duty back at work with no limitations. For me, during every PT visit there was no down time. They always had me constantly moved from one exercise to another which was important to me because on many of my PT days I had to head straight off to work. Robbins has a wonderful group of people working here! Everyone is friendly and supportive at every visit. My husband Mark used Robbins and was very happy. So when I fell at work and got hurt I asked workers comp if Robbins was listed as possible Physical Therapy providers to attend. Luckily for me they were! Thank you so much everyone!” –