Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with a large range of movement. It is made up of three bones, with the two joints cushioned by thick layers of cartilage. The shoulder joint consists of the ball-shaped section of the long upper-arm bone called the humerus and the outer edge of the shoulder blade bone called the scapula. A cartilage ring around the socket, called the labrum, helps to create more stability in the joint.
Shoulder pain is caused by:
- Muscle strain
- Poor posture
- Abnormal or unstable shoulder joints
- Labral tear
- Repetitive motions
- Manual labor
- Certain diseases
- Fracture or break, including collar or upper arm
- Instability or inflammation of the tendons
- Strains from overexertion
- Tendonitis from overuse
- Dislocation, separated shoulder, rotator cuff tear
- “Frozen shoulder” (the connective tissue becomes thickened and tight)
- Pinched nerves (radiculopathy)
Serious Shoulder Injuries
Besides the most obvious breaks or fractures, common serious conditions can be very painful, and require a doctor’s care. Most will certainly need physical therapy to fully recover:
- Dislocated shoulder: Symptoms include severe pain, a shoulder that is obviously deformed; bruises; numbness, tingling; swelling, muscle spasms, and inability to move the joint. A doctor usually eases the bones back into place, but physical therapy is required.
- Partial or full rotator cuff tear: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder, connecting the upper arm to the shoulder blade. A partial tear produces a dull ache, and recovery is possible with physical therapy and exercise. A full rotator cuff tear can cause intense pain and may need surgery, but recovery takes time, physical therapy and corrective exercise.
- Separated shoulder: This is injury to ligaments that hold the collarbone (scapula), to the shoulder blade and may cause a bump at the top of your shoulder. In a mild case, ligaments may just be stretched, but in severe injuries, completely ruptured. This doesn’t usually require surgery—most people regain function within weeks. More important, you will probably need physical therapy and corrective exercise after the shoulder’s been reset.
Get Back to Doing What You Love
How can you get your life back as soon as possible? Dr. Mark Thompson, LAc, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Licensed Acupuncturist, but he doesn’t use just one approach. With over 30 years of practice, he has developed a focused, dedicated treatment approach called Acutherapy that combines a number of evidence-based proven therapies and traditions to help heal your shoulder pain and recover faster from injury:
- Acupuncture: drawn from modern biomedical strategies
- Manual therapy: soft tissue work and joint manipulation
- Injury-specific Corrective Exercise
The skilled practitioners at Mark Thompson Acutherapy have treated many patients with shoulder pain successfully, and their goal is to help you get rid of the pain or heal from injury quickly and effectively. Treatments are usually a combination of modalities and consist of an hour of one on one care. If you are looking for someone who can treat you as a unique human being, who wants to help you get on with your life and lifestyle, you have found the right practice in Mark Thompson Acutherapy. Call today at 212 974-7240 or request an appointment online now.