Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder complex is a unique system in the body due to the high amount of mobility it provides. In a healthy shoulder there is approximately 180 degrees of overhead reach, allowing for diverse movement such as a tennis serve or a baseball pitch. Even getting a glass off the top shelf requires a complex motion. Unfortunately, the same mechanical attributes that allow the shoulder to move so freely, also result in higher probabilities of injury.

The most common injury to the shoulder is some level of damage to the rotator cuff, a group of four muscles that connect the humerus (upper arm bone) to the shoulder blade, which provide both movement and support to the joint. Due to the high amount mobility in the shoulder, even subtle changes in the strength or flexibility of these muscles can cause a change in the overall alignment of the shoulder joint and start to cause damage to the rotator cuff. Overuse, trauma, or lack of conditioning are several examples of how these imbalances can develop, causing these shoulder muscles to be pinched, torn, ruptured, or go into spasm.

Physical therapy can be advantageous for restoring proper strength and/or flexibility in the rotator cuff muscles after an injury has occurred, thereby reducing pain and preventing further damage. Therapists use a variety of exercises, stretches, manual therapy techniques, and modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, and other techniques to accomplish this task. Even if you are experiencing only occasional shoulder pain, consulting with a physical therapist may help prevent a more serious shoulder injury.

If you have shoulder pain or reduced range of motion, call Center for Integrative Medicine today to schedule an appointment. We’ll help determine the root cause of the problem and offer a non-invasive solution for treatment.