By Dr. Adam Cramer, PT, DPT
Of all the joints in your body, the shoulder joint has the greatest range of motion.
Because of its incredible mobility, 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..
Where do you look for relief of shoulder pain?
Too often when twinges of pain erupt from the shoulder, busy people just ignore it and push on through their day. The next day hurts even more, so they take a few pain-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 dependency 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, 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 opioids.
They suggest that we must urgently consider non-pharmacological approaches to treating pain, PHYSICAL THERAPY!
How your physical therapist can help your shoulder pain
When you consult with a doctor of physical therapy at MyoFit Clinic you can expect that first you will be evaluated so that we 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, moist heat treatments, and Kinesio tapping. Add to that mobility and strengthening exercises along with training and education on how to decrease the pain naturally.
What you can expect from your physical therapy
It takes time for your shoulder to heal. It is important that you move at the pace your physical therapist advises, because you need to avoid re-injury as you struggle to regain normalcy.
With each visit you will receive Pain relieving treatment to control pain and inflammation without pharmaceuticals. You will also be issued a program of exercise to do at home between visits to continue to heal and strengthen your shoulder.
Study proves effective of physical therapy in treating 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,” authors concluded.
In other words, our physical therapists at MyoFit Clinic providing one-on-one care can help you heal from your shoulder pain while avoiding surgery, saving you money and return you to your normal life. Just leaving your shoulder alone hoping it will 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 in Chardon and Middlefield, Ohio.