Shoulder Pain Treatment in Thousand Oaks
by Cheryl Schuhmann-Wertheimer, PT, DPT, November 23, 2015
The shoulder joint has an incredible range of motion when compared to most of the other joints in the body. But, when the shoulder is injured, the motion becomes limited and a great deal of pain and discomfort may be experienced. If you are looking for shoulder pain treatment in Thousand Oaks, you’ve come to the right website.
Below, you will learn about seven major causes of shoulder pain and what your next step should consist of treating the injury.
1.Tendon Inflammation (Tendinitis or Bursitis)
Tendinitis is caused by an irritation/inflammation of a tendon most commonly by a trauma such as a fall, throwing injury, or repetitive work. The most commonly affected tendon in the shoulder is the supraspinatus tendon which helps to keep the “ball [the head of the humerus] in the shoulder socket [glenoid]”. Bursitis, or inflammation of a bursa, often occurs in association with tendinitis. The small fluid filled sacs called bursae, located in joints in the shoulder, act as a cushion between bones and tissue and help reduce friction. Excessive use of the shoulder may cause inflammation and swelling of the one or more of these bursae.
2. Shoulder Impingement
Shoulder impingement is a pinching of the shoulder tendon(s) between the acromion and the head of the humerus. It’s a common condition that is experienced with excessive use of the shoulder, sleeping on the shoulder, or repetitive use of the shoulder (e.g. swimming, throwing a ball, overhead work). With impingement the bursae and/or the tendons of the rotator cuff may be involved. Commonly, weakness of the rotator cuff can lead to decreased stability of shoulder joint and shoulder impingement. Anatomical variations of the acromion can also predispose the rotator cuff to impingement as well.
3. Rotator Cuff Tears
A rotator cuff tear occurs when one or more of the tendons of the rotator cuff become torn. Rotator cuff tears are commonly degenerative in nature…on in other words, are the result of years of use. As with shoulder tendonitis, the most commonly involved tendon is the supraspinatus. However, more significant tears can also involve the subscapularis and/or the infraspinatus. Rotator cuff tears are commonly classified as small, large, and massive which depends on the size of the tear.
Instability can occur as a result of shoulder dislocation. Dislocation can become frequent once the ligaments, tendons and muscles become loose or torn and tend to cause pain and instability in the shoulder.
Arthritis can be another major cause of shoulder pain. Arthritis occurs with chronic wear and tear of the shoulder. Symptoms include swelling, pain and stiffness. Over time, people with arthritis in the shoulder tend to lessen movement in order to avoid pain but that can lead to tightening or stiffening of the soft tissue parts of the joint, resulting in even more pain.
6. Frozen Shoulder
A frozen shoulder occurs when there is internal inflammation of the shoulder joint capsule followed by the development of painful, fibrous adhesions within the capsule. These adhesions limit the mobility of the joint capsule and when stretched, can be very painful. There are 3 phases of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). The freezing phase, frozen phase, and the thawing phase. Physical therapist directed treatment can be very useful in combination with a home program to help recover motion and decrease pain.
7. Calcific Tendonitis
Calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium crystals are deposited in the tendons of the shoulder joint. The crystals can cause inflammation of the tendons of the rotator cuff, may result in shoulder impingement, and can be extremely painful.
Seven Conditions that Usually Respond Very Well to Physical Therapy
There are numerous clinical studies that conclude that physical therapist directed treatment of any of the above shoulder conditions often is successful. There are times when patients may need an injection or even surgery. The bottom line is that seeing a physical therapist first is the best choice. If treatment is successful, you can avoid pain pills and surgery. If physical therapy isn’t successful, your shoulder will be stronger from the physical therapy which usually translates into a quicker post-surgical recovery.
Have Shoulder Pain? Give Us a Call
Above are seven painful conditions that can affect the shoulder. It’s almost always the right choice to try conservative, drug-free treatment before aggressive treatment; therefore, seeing a physical therapist first is usually the best choice.
Shoulder pain treatment in Thousand Oaks is just a phone call away. Give us a try first.