By Dr. Adam M. Cramer, PT, DPT
Of all the joints in your body, the shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion. Because of its incredible mo-bility, it is more likely to be injured or sustain painful problems. And when it does become painful, it impacts almost everything you are trying to do.
Shoulders sustain sprains and strains, dislocations, tendinitis, torn rotator cuffs, bursitis, frozen shoulder, fractures, arthritis and a host of other injuries and conditions. Because it is such a mobile joint, you can hurt it in falls, when you strain to try to reach something, when you lift something heavy, and even when you throw a ball or play a game. Sometimes it becomes injured and painful just from a gradual irritation or deterioration over time.
Where do you look for relief of shoulder pain? Too often when twinges of pain erupt from the shoulder, busy people just pop a pain-killer and push on through their day. The next day hurts even more, so they take a few more pills and continue without seeking help or they seek out a surgeon who can only provide surgery as an option when they actually don’t want or even need surgery!
This practice leads to a continuing and escalating shoulder problem as well as other side effects of increased de-pendency on pain-killers, unnecessary MRI imaging, ineffective steroid injections and life threatening surgery! In fact, according to a report released three years ago by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), our culture’s tendency to treat chronic pain with a one-pill-fits-all mindset has created a “silent epidemic” regarding the use and possible overuse of opioid reliance. They suggest that we must urgently consider non-pharmacological approaches to treating pain, including physical therapy!
How your Doctor of physical therapy can help your shoulder pain. When you consult with a doctor of physical therapy at MyoFit Clinic because of shoulder pain, you can expect that first you will be evaluated so that they can determine the cause of your pain and then an effective way to treat it the same day.
We will use a combination of hands-on treatment to loosen the muscles and joints and combine it with dry needling, laser therapy, electrical stimulation, hot and cold treatments, and Kinesio tapping. Add to that stretching and strengthening exercises including gentle self-mobilization exercises and education on proper posture and movement to decrease the pain while improving function safely and effectively.
Study proves effectiveness of physical therapy in treating shoulder pain. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapy as a treatment approach to shoulder pain. A total of 66 volunteers with shoulder pain were randomly allocated to a treatment group that gave them one month of physical therapy aimed at restoring function of their shoulder muscles or to a control group who received no treatment. Overall, the subjects who received the physical therapy showed improvement in pain-free status and had a more flexible range of motion as well as a higher self-perception of improvement.
“These results suggest that the physical therapy approach used in this study is effective in improving shoulder function in subjects experiencing pain of mechanical origin,” they concluded. In other words, your Doctor of physical therapy can help you heal from your shoulder pain, avoid surgery saving you money and returning you to your normal life. Just leaving your shoulder alone to heal won’t help you at all.
Dr. Adam M. Cramer, PT, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist, shoulder specialist and owner of MyoFit Clinic 14950 S. Springdale Ave. Middlefield (44062) and 11850 Mayfield Road, Chardon (44024). Call 440-632-1007 or 440-286-1007.
National Institutes of Health. News Release. NIH says current treatment of chronic pain has created “silent epidemic;” More focus needed on non-drug approaches. PT News. Jan. 14, 2015
Ginn, Karen A. et all. A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of a Treatment for Shoulder Pain. Physical Ther-apy. Volume 77, Issue 8, Pages 802-809 https://academic.oup.com/ptj/article/77/8/802/2633184