Guest post by Martin Kelvin
What Is Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is one of those musculo-skeletal conditions that makes it extremely hard for you to perform your daily activities.
It keeps you from enjoying the activities you like the most, for example, if you are a professional athlete, it prevents you from practicing your game, which proves to be extremely harmful to your carrier.
Or, if you are someone who loves staying active all the time, and enjoy doing your regular household activities like sweeping, mopping the floor, or keeping your garden tidy, then, musculo-skeletal conditions like burning pain in the shoulder, becomes a big obstacle for you.
Shoulder pain can stem from different types of shoulder injuries such as:
- shoulder pain rotator cuff injury
- labral tears
- frozen shoulder
- impingement syndrome
- shoulder bursitis
- and shoulder osteoarthritis
Shoulder injuries are extremely common and you have to take action immediately to recover, otherwise, they can weaken your shoulder and you won’t be able to do your everyday tasks.
When compared to other joints in your body, your shoulder is one of the most complex among them: it is made up of three important bones and a wide range of muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
In case you receive injury to any of these bones, you will experience a lot of pain in your shoulder, as well as in the arm.
Sometimes, your shoulder pain also becomes a reason for your neck pain, so it’s important for you to seek the right treatment to recover from your problem.
Apart from injuries, shoulder pain also occurs due to illnesses, so taking the advantage of a right treatment technique remains crucial for you.
Treatments For Shoulder Pain
Depending on the severity of the injury, shoulder pain can be treated with different methods.
For example, you can heal it by taking medicines, and if the injury is really serious, then, you can go for a surgical treatment if needed.
If you decide to have a surgery to heal your shoulder injury, you should be aware of the cost and the amount of time to recover from it completely.
Medicines can only offer a temporary solution for your problem, therefore, the best way to treat your shoulder pain is to identify it’s root cause in the first place.
As we have already discussed that apart from injuries, shoulder pain can also be caused by a variety of illnesses, therefore you must treat the underlying cause of your problem to live a pain-free life.
Non-surgical treatments are the best way to heal shoulder pain, hence, you should decide to give them a try, prior other more invasive methods.
Physical Therapy For Shoulder Pain
So, if you really want to use a non-surgical, non-invasive and drug-free treatment for healing your shoulder pain, then physical therapy is the perfect treatment approach for you.
You should consult a physical therapist (PT) who is well-trained in healing musculo-skeletal conditions.
Your PT will start examining your condition by asking a wide range of questions associated with your fitness habits.
They may ask you questions like:
- Have you ever experienced similar kind of pain and discomfort earlier, or
- What type of physical activities you do on a regular basis
Apart from that, your PT will also examine the movements of your shoulder, by asking you to perform some sort of physical activities, like reaching for items that are placed on overhead shelves, or lifting weight.
They evaluate the severity of your pain by examining the kind of discomfort and pain that you feel while carrying out physical activities.
In addition, they will also try to figure out the actual location of the injury, which is resulting in severe pain and discomfort.
Your therapist will examine your symptoms in details, and will perform different types of tests such as isometric testing to figure out the primary cause of your problem.
Now, based on the findings of the tests carried out, they may ask you to consult an orthopedist for carrying out further tests such as :
- X-rays. These pictures will show any injuries to the bones that make up your shoulder joint.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound. These imaging studies create better pictures of soft tissues. MRI may help your doctor identify injuries to the ligaments and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint.
- Computed tomography (CT) scan. This tool combines x-rays with computer technology to produce a very detailed view of the bones in the shoulder area.
- Electrical studies. Your doctor may order a test, such as an EMG (electromyogram), to evaluate nerve function.
- Arthrogram. During this x-ray study, dye is injected into the shoulder to better show the joint and its surrounding muscles and tendons. It may be combined with an MRI.
- Arthroscopy. In this surgical procedure, your doctor looks inside the joint with a fiber-optic camera. Arthroscopy may show soft tissue injuries that are not apparent from the physical examination, x-rays, and other tests. In addition to helping find the cause of pain, arthroscopy may be used to correct the problem.
However, if the root cause of the problem is effectively identified by your PT itself, then, you may not require all of these tests.
Based on the severity of your injury, your therapist will design a unique care plan for you, which will include both passive and active physical therapy treatments (physical therapy exercises for shoulder pain).
You have to follow the treatment plan effectively in order to get desirable results immediately.
For example, if your PT has suggested massage therapy, then, you should go for massage sessions on a regular basis.
And if they have included dry needling and other treatment techniques in your treatment plan,then, you should follow them 100%.
In case the primary cause of your shoulder pain is condition like arthritis, then, your PT may include a physical therapy technique like aquatic therapy in your plan, and it’s your duty to follow their instructions.
Aquatic therapy is a treatment technique during which you have to carry out some important exercises in water that will increase the strength and flexibility of your shoulder, apart from reducing the pain.
However, when you visit your physical therapist, they will design a treatment plan that uniquely meets your individual needs.
Also, they have a wide range of physical therapies to help you effectively mitigate your shoulder pain.
It is to be noted that you should maintain the correct posture while sitting, standing or sleeping, to avoid getting any sort of muscular pain.
But, if you are struggling with any sort of shoulder pain, do not ignore it and treat it at the earliest possible.
First, you need to improve the quality of your life by improving your physical fitness, and if you experience physical pain, you must consult a skilled physical therapist quickly, and solve the problem as soon as possible.
Don’t wait too long because it will reflect on the quality of your life!
Martin is a writer, student
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