The shoulder’s one of the most complex and important joints in the human body. They allow us to perform a wide range of complex activities we most likely take for granted. Also, without them, we wouldn’t be able to stand with proper posture, in a dignified way.
Unfortunately, shoulder injuries are all too common. They’re almost as frequent as ordinary, everyday back pain. Whether through sports or spontaneous accidents, our shoulders often take a beating. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we can help you identify the major causes of shoulder injuries, and how you can prevent them.
In this post, we’ll explore the basics of shoulder injuries and what you should know about them.
Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that surrounds the shoulder joint. It keeps the arm within the shoulder’s socket. Both age and overuse can wear down the rotator cuff, potentially causing future problems, even acute or chronic injuries.
Stretching before exercising can decrease the likelihood of this issue. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, this is one of the most common shoulder injuries that we treat.
Symptoms: At first, rotator cuff tears begin as simple feelings of discomfort. These dull aches can also lead to sluggishness when the arm’s in motion. Also, it can make reaching backwards or upwards difficult and painful. Of course, sleeping can be very difficult, especially when there’s pressure on the injured shoulder.
Treatment: To avoid future complications after treatment, physical therapy is your best best. Performing certain exercises to strengthen the muscles will restore them naturally. Best of all, you’ll be able to heal without surgery or painkillers.
Unlike other shoulder injuries, major impact movements cause dislocations. Intense exercise often has the sort of effect on the body that leads to similar injuries. Of course, it’s possible to dislocate other body parts. However, the shoulder is most likely to experience this. Essentially, this is because it has the largest range of motion.
Dislocation occurs when the arm bone pops out of the socket. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we frequently help patients with dislocated shoulders adopt a more cautious lifestyle.
Symptoms: There are a few common symptoms of shoulder dislocation. The shoulder will be weak, sometimes numb, with a visible protrusion from the socket. In severe cases, there may be shoulder spasms. Unfortunately, this creates even more pain.
Treatment: In many situations, treating a dislocated shoulder is as simple as a routine shoulder reduction. In this process, the shoulder is guided back into its original position.
In fact, many who have experienced this in the past can do this independently. However, everyone should seek medical assistance to ensure a painless, lasting treatment.
Shoulder Impingement (Rotator Cuff Tendinitis)
Rotator cuff pain is common among especially active youth, as well as many middle-aged people. Athletes playing sports requiring arm movement frequently experience shoulder impingement. Sports like tennis, baseball and swimming are the most common. Exercise like cardio or strength training can also impact the rotator cuff.
Even simple daily activities can lead to shoulder impingement. Lifting, painting, construction and more requires the kind of arm movement that inflicts this injury.
Symptoms: Often, the symptoms of shoulder impingement can be easily confused with standard soreness. One common symptom is tenderness in the front of the shoulder, or the middle of the arm. You may feel especially stiff when lifting your arms. As the pain intensifies, it may spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment: Most professionals recommend physical therapy before taking any surgical measures. At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we believe surgery should be a last resort. It may have side effects or medication involved. This treatment allows patients to gradually return to more and more arm-centric activities.
In severe cases, shoulder impingement may require arthroscopic surgery, or another minimally invasive option.
Choose Lake Shore Physical Therapy
At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we strive to help our patients recover from injuries successfully. Physical therapy provides patients with the opportunity to fully heal and recover from injuries, naturally and effectively. Our experienced staff will utilize unique treatment techniques in order to assist you in regaining full shoulder mobility.