Your shoulder is subjected to a lot of movement, stress and strain every day. It is composed of a complex network of muscles, ligaments and tendons, with the rotator cuff actively involved in much of the movement and exertion.
The shoulder is by far the most flexible joint in your body, but it is also one of the most unstable because of its anatomy. It has a wide range of motion unlike other joints like the elbow or ankle which are somewhat limited. This leaves your shoulder vulnerable to pain and injury.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
- Rotator Cuff Dysfunction – this is a condition wherein your rotator cufftendons get intermittently compressed during shoulder movements. This results in injury to the tendons and bursa in the joint, causing painful movements.
- Biceps Tendinopathy – this is a relatively common disorder that usually presents as pain and tenderness in the tendon of the long head of the biceps muscle. Patients typically complain of pain in front of their shoulder that worsens in the evening.
- Shoulder Impingement Syndrome – this occurs whenever there is impingementof tendons from the bones that make up the shoulder joint. Overhead activity, especially repeated movements, is a major risk factor for shoulder impingement.
- Labral Tears – the labrum is a rim of cartilage that reinforces the shoulder joint. It also serves as the point of attachment for ligaments and supports the shoulder along with the rotator cuff muscles. The labrum is therefore a key contributor to the stability of the shoulder and when it is torn, the joint becomes prone to partial or complete dislocation.
- Shoulder Dislocation – this means the head of the humerus popped out of the socket of the scapula. There can be forward, backward, or downward dislocation of the shoulder joint. Whichever is the case, a dislocation can tear ligaments or tendons or damage nerves. Anterior or forward dislocation is the most common.
- Frozen Shoulder – this is also known as adhesive capsulitis. It is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The symptoms usually appear gradually, worsen over time and eventually resolve within a year or so.
- Shoulder Bursitis – this refers to an inflammation in the shoulder bursa, which is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. When a shoulder bursa is irritated, it becomes inflamed and swollen, thereby decreasing the space for the joint structures to move around. This causes pain and restriction of movement in the shoulder.
Signs that You Must Seek Treatment:
- Pain that persists beyond a couple of days
- Recurring pain, even if it has a history of resolving on its own
- Inability to carry objects or raise the arm
- Injury that causes deformity of the shoulder joint
- Pain that sets in at night or while resting
- Swelling around the shoulder joint
- Signs of an infection, including fever, redness or swelling
Reach out to us at PhysioCore in case you have one or more of the aforementioned signs and symptoms. We can discuss your condition and how to treat it in the most effective manner.
How Long Does It Take to Recover?
Recovery from shoulder pain depends on the type of injuring that is causing the pain.
Rotator cuff dysfunction usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to heal. However, it could take months if the problem is severe. Shoulder impingement normally takes 3 to 6 months to heal, but severe cases can take up to a year to heal completely. Patients usually start returning to normal activities within 2 to 4 weeks.
For labral tears, recovery depends on a number of factors, such as the location of the tear, how severe it is and how well the surgical repair was performed. Studies have shown that it takes at least 4 to 6 weeks for the labrum to reattach itself to the rim of the glenoid fossa, and perhaps another 4 to 6 weeks to get strong.
For shoulder dislocation, it takes 12 to 16 weeks to fully recover. Patients usually resume most of their daily activities within two weeks, but lifting heavy objects and sports involving shoulder movements must be avoided over the course of 6 to 12 weeks.
For frozen shoulder, majority of patients improve on their own within 6 to 12 months, but in some cases recovery can take up to 18 months. Without proper treatment, return of motion is gradual and full range motion may never return. Lastly, for shoulder bursitis, symptoms typically subside within a couple of weeks. This type of injury usually responds favorably to rest and anti-inflammatory drugs.
How Can Physiotherapy Treat Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be caused by different disorders or conditions that require management based on an individually tailored treatment program. Our therapists at PhysioCore use a comprehensive approach including strength training, manual therapy, taping, soft tissue release, and therapeutic modalities like TENS, ultrasound, ice and heat application.
We can guide you on the most effective exercises and provide other beneficial forms of treatment. We can also help you understand what’s causing the pain and how to modify your daily activities to hasten recovery. In most cases, we provide instructions for home exercise programs that help improve the mobility and strength of the shoulder.
The preliminary stages of treatment will aim to reduce pain and integrate strengthening exercises. This provides for a gradual return to normal activities. The later stages of treatment will include more advanced strengthening, plyometrics, and continuous monitoring of the integrity of the rotator cuff muscles and shoulder joint in general.
How Can Chiropractic Treatment Help With Shoulder Pain?
Chiropractic treatment can also be beneficial for patients suffering from shoulder pain. It can help reduce or relieve the pain, increase range of motion, improve flexibility, and restore function to the shoulder joint. Our chiropractors at PhysioCore are highly versed in a variety of interventions for shoulder pain treatment. We use different techniques depending on the type and severity of the injury.
Ischemic compression techniques are very effective for shoulder pain. It is preferred because it is effective, simple to perform, is very safe, and tolerated well by patients. Chiropractic adjustments may also be used to treat the underlying cause of pain. Even if the shoulder joint is not dislocated, it may not be positioned in a manner that allows the muscles, nerves and other structures to function properly. With a chiropractic adjustment, the shoulder joint is gently shifted to realign it to its natural position.
Similar to physiotherapy, chiropractic care is often the preferred form of treatment for shoulder pain because it is proven effective and is minimally invasive. Chiropractic treatment addresses different areas of the body without medication and gets the patient on the road to recovery faster.
Count on PhysioCore for Shoulder Pain Relief & Treatment
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, feel free to contact us. We can assist you with a variety of treatment options depending on your particular condition. Remember that shoulder pain is manageable and relief is readily available. Don’t suffer from the pain for another day!
More people are now aware of the fact that physiotherapy and chiropractic are highly regulated fields with highly-trained practitioners. In Toronto, PhysioCore is one of the most trusted rehab therapy clinics offering physiotherapy and chiropractic treatment. We have gained a sterling reputation for proving outstanding care by being a multi-disciplinary injury rehab centre. We take utmost pride on our team which boasts 40 years of combined experience. So again, if you’re seeking shoulder pain treatment in Thornhill, Ontario, book an appointment today!