One of the most common types of body pain people experience is shoulder pain. Due to the complex structure of the joint and the increased mobility in the shoulders, the likelihood of having pain or a related injury in that area is increased. At some point in our lifetime, we will all most likely suffer from shoulder pain for one reason or another.

We can experience shoulder pain for many reasons, such as injury or soreness from performing manual labor, playing sports, or lifting weights. Or we may simply experience it as a result of getting older. Whatever the cause may be, there are many ways to treat shoulder pain.

Continue reading to find out what HealthWorks’ physical therapist Dr. Mark Hose and Mountainstate Orthopedic Associates’ Dr. Chad Micucci have to say about treating shoulder pain and how physical therapy can help before and after a replacement or surgical procedure in the shoulder. 

Treating Different Kinds of Shoulder Pain

The most common causes of shoulder pain come from the swelling or irritation of the shoulder joint’s tendons. This is also known as rotator cuff tendonitis or impingement syndrome. This type of injury can cause extreme pain and discomfort, and you may not even be able to lift your arm. 

The initial symptoms and pain of tendonitis can be relieved with the help of over-the-counter medication and painkillers, but those medications may not treat the root cause, and your pain may worsen over time. In that case, physical therapy should be the next course of action to manage the pain, reduce swelling, and regain shoulder mobility. Your physical therapist will first work to help you relieve the pain in your shoulders and then use specific exercises to help you regain strength in that area.

In some cases, rotator cuff surgery may be necessary to repair a torn ligament. This is a minimally invasive procedure that involves three or four small incisions. Your surgeon will insert precision instruments with a camera into these incisions so the doctor can see your tendons and muscles and analyze what is wrong. Once the problem is found, your surgeon can repair the injury, usually within the same outpatient procedure.

Post-surgery, your doctor will recommend physical therapy to help increase mobility and strength, while reducing pain and inflammation. 

Shoulder Replacement: When Do You Need It? 

Shoulder replacement surgery is a procedure that removes damaged areas of your shoulder and replaces them with artificial surfaces. This helps to relieve pain and enhance mobility in the area. If you have fractured your shoulders or have arthritis in the joint, you may want to consider a shoulder replacement. 

If you are experiencing extreme pain in your shoulders and other non-invasive procedures and physical therapy are not helping, then shoulder replacement surgery might be required. 

Older people often inevitably require a shoulder replacement due to excessive wear and tear of the joint from years of use. 

Shoulder replacement surgery is a common procedure and recovery is usually very manageable with proper physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The Bottom Line

Because the shoulder is such a complex joint that we use with almost every arm movement, shoulder injuries are very common. Treatments can range from simple rest and anti-inflammatory medication to physical therapy and orthopedic surgery. But with modern surgical and rehabilitation techniques, you can be confident that there is a solution for your shoulder pain. 

If you or someone you know is experiencing discomfort or pain in the shoulders, contact your nearest HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness location to identify the cause for your pain and the best treatment options for you!