Shoulder

Clarifying Your Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints we treat at the Health & Performance Centre.

Shoulder pain can be as minimal as a quick intermittent pain that is often described as a ‘sharp catch’, but can progress to a more constant dull ache down the arm. Commonly, shoulder pain can result in aching that disrupts sleeping postures and results in restless sleeps and increased pain at night.

Problems in the shoulder can occur with everyday wear and tear, overuse or an isolated injury. While there are many causes of shoulder pain, it is important to have an accurate diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment is implemented.

Common medical diagnoses for shoulder pain include

  • Rotator cuff tendonitis
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Shoulder dislocations and shoulder separations.

Common causes of shoulder pain

  • Weakness of the rotator cuff and shoulder muscles
  • Weakness of the shoulder blade muscles
  • A stiff shoulder joint
  • Imbalances between shoulder muscle groups that results in poor arm and shoulder blade movement
  • Poor posture, such as an increased rounding of the shoulder blades
  • Trauma, such as a fall, involving the arm
  • Shoulder surgery
  • Bursitis shoulder

Treatment to Improve Your Health

Through our personalized assessment plan, we address the causes of shoulder pain using treatments such as:

  • Hands-on therapy or mobilization
  • Specific strengthening and postural retraining exercises
  • Education on avoiding inappropriate and provoking positions
  • Modalities such as acupuncture, TENS or taping for pain control, and ultrasound to improve the speed of tissue healing time

Most shoulder pain can be resolved in about 4 – 6 weeks of treatments. Your commitment is typically 2 – 3 times a week for 20 – 30 minutes, in addition to carrying out your home exercise program. Our home exercise programs utilize the most advanced exercises and are described in detail with pictures for your reference. These independent exercises can be used to both treat and prevent ongoing shoulder complaints.

If your shoulder pain does not improve in a timely manner based on your diagnosis, we will work with your healthcare provider to request further diagnostic tests. While much less frequently, we also strive to provide you with the best pre and post surgical treatment through our personalized assessment plan.

Our goal is to return your shoulder back to its full function, whether that means a return to work, a specific sport or activity, or a pain-free sleep.