Treatment for shoulder pain, whether acute or chronic, typically begins with decreasing inflammations and pain. This includes reducing muscular tension of the shoulder and scapular regions. Restoring range of motion of this very mobile joint is an imperative first step and one which facilitates future progress regarding both pain and functional mobility. Once pain is reduced, patients typically notice a consistent increase in overhead mobility and tolerance to activity.
Following the immediate goal of reduced inflammation, more advanced techniques are then typically implemented. These treatments aim to increase shoulder and scapular stability, while promoting proper scapula-humeral mobility. The appropriate balance between mobility and stability is essential in both the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints.
Manual therapy is used to decrease pain and improve the mobility of the shoulder joint. These techniques are essential in restoring shoulder range of motion and proper joint mechanics. Manual stretching, joint mobilization and soft tissue relaxation are consistently utilized to help patients reduce pain restore their functional movement.
THERAPEUTIC EXERCISE PROGRAMS
Therapeutic exercise programs, including both stretching and strengthening are the hallmarks of shoulder rehabilitation. The instruction of patient assisted range of motion activities and stretching allow for the resumption of normal movements patterns. Once rehabilitation is consistently progressing, specific strengthening and stability exercises are utilized to improve upper quarter movement patterns and reduce the possibility of re-injury.
Similar to “TMJ,” oral-facial pain is a term which typically encompasses and wide variety of symptoms and diagnosis. Most often, patient experience pain with chewing and/or clenching the teeth. This can be caused by either the muscles of mastication or irritation of the trigeminal nerve, a very important cranial nerve in the face.
As the shoulder is an extremely mobile joint, it holds the potential for numerous injuries and impairment. Shoulder pain may result from a variety of factors including overuse, poor body mechanics, scapular weakness and ligamentous instability. Symptoms may be directly related to acute injury or as the result of chronic abnormal shoulder mechanics. Often, but not always, weakness and dysfunction of the smaller stability muscles of the shoulder become problematic. Specifically diagnosed conditions, which are commonly treated in physical therapy are: Muscle Strain, Rotator Cuff Tear, Labral Tear, Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder), Shoulder Impingement, Bursitis, Clavicular Fracture and Post-Surgical.