Physical Therapy Treatments for Shoulder Pain


Be it rotator cuff tears or other muscle-related injuries affecting the shoulder region, physical therapy stands as a frequently successful non-surgical remedy for shoulder pain. Its objective lies in enhancing the strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder, thereby augmenting its performance and your overall range of motion.

Your medical practitioner might direct you to a skilled physical therapist, such as those at Livingston Samwell Institute for Pain Management, to address your shoulder pain. The appointed physical therapist will evaluate your injury and determine the optimal treatment approach. Additionally, you might receive a personalized home exercise regimen to adhere to, aiding you in sustaining your mobility once your therapy sessions conclude.

Physical Therapy Treatments for Shoulder Pain

Based on the particulars of your injury, the shoulder therapy recommended by your physical therapist is likely to encompass one or more of the subsequent treatment methods:

Ice therapy: The RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) approach promotes the application of ice to affected areas during the initial stages of injury. This aids in diminishing inflammation and swelling, subsequently reducing pain.

Heat therapy: In contrast to ice therapy, which is administered within the initial hours post-injury, heat therapy is more suitable after a 72-hour period. Similar to ice therapy, it acts as an analgesic and facilitates muscle relaxation.

Hands-on Therapy: As the term suggests, Hands-on therapy involves the physical therapist utilizing hands-on techniques to alleviate tension in the injured shoulder. By applying specific pressure to the tissues, the therapist endeavours to restore natural mobility.

Ultrasound Treatment: Therapeutic ultrasound, distinct from diagnostic ultrasound, constitutes a form of physical therapy for shoulder pain. It involves subjecting muscles, tendons, and soft tissues to deep heating. This heightened temperature improves tissue circulation, leading to pain relief and aiding injury healing. 

Therapeutic ultrasounds also enhance muscle elasticity, particularly beneficial for conditions like frozen shoulders, as they facilitate greater muscle flexibility, subsequently expanding the range of motion.

Electrical Stimulation: A technique employed to bolster the muscles around the injured shoulder involves nerve stimulation. On occasion, it’s used to trigger muscle contractions or mitigate inflammation. Moreover, it can serve as a means of delivering medication.

Athletic Taping: As part of your shoulder physical therapy regimen, your physical therapist might incorporate athletic tape in conjunction with other therapeutic techniques, like exercises.

Kinesiology Taping: In contrast to athletic taping, kinesiology taping aims to facilitate controlled movement while enhancing circulation. Depending on the nature of your shoulder injury, the physical therapist may opt for either of these taping methodologies or none at all.

Modification of Activities: In order to lower the risk of a recurrence of your shoulder injury, your physical therapist will provide strategies to adjust how you execute day-to-day tasks, ensuring proper support for your shoulders. For instance, if you’re contending with a frozen shoulder, the therapist might advise against prolonged shoulder rest.

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