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Shoulder injury rehab

Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Just about every person will experience shoulder pain and some point in their lives. But when is it a cause for concern and what exactly is going wrong to cause it? Did you know the shoulder is made up of three bones: the clavicle, the scapula and the humerus? These three bones allow your shoulders to be one of the most mobile joints in your body and can be susceptible to being unstable because the ball on the upper arm is larger than the shoulder cavity that holds it. The shoulder must be anchored by muscles, tendons and ligaments to remain stable and in a normal position. If any one of these structures has become weakened or overworked, the shoulder is left susceptible to injury.

Common problems include:

  • Twists and strains

  • Dislocations

  • Separations

  • Tendinitis/Tendonitis

  • Tendinopathy

  • Bursitis

  • Rupture of the rotator cuff

  • Frozen shoulder

  • Fractures

  • Arthritis

At Rehab and Revive Physical Therapy we can diagnose your shoulder problems using your medical history and by performing a comprehensive physical exam with our clinical tests and measures.

Often, the first treatment for your shoulder concerns (if in the acute and newly injured stage) may include rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE method). Other treatments we provide at Rehab and Revive include our expert, hands-on, one-on-one techniques using systems like, Neuromechanical Therapy, Functional Manual Therapy™ and The Integrated Systems Model that include a progressive specialized exercise plan to reduce pain and swelling.

Causes of shoulder injury

  • Overload or overuse factors: consisting of microtrauma and repetitive movements

  • Bone alterations or alignment changes

  • Dysfunctions to the clavicle, scapula, dysfunctions

  • Direct falls or trauma to the shoulder

In the case of an elderly person, we must take into account that muscles weaken and ligaments get stretched or torn that will be critical factors to shoulder injuries. If these structures do not perform correctly, they expose the shoulder to be more susceptible to any biomechanical alteration.

Shoulder injuries can occur as a side effect of some central involvement of nearby articular structures — such as the cervical spine, spine and elbow — due to the close muscle relationship they have with each other. This is why an evaluation with a physical therapist can be so important.


If you already have shoulder pain and want to see how Dr. Lin treats it, check out our full shoulder treatment video here!


Treatment of shoulder injury

In traumatic injuries, it is common that the injury will require surgical intervention and subsequent rehabilitation guided by a physical therapist

On the other hand, in a large percentage of our patients with overuse injuries, surgical intervention is not necessary. It is vital for your physical therapist to know the origin of the problem in order to plan a successful physical therapy treatment. To this end, a series of tests will be carried out by our specialists that will help them to know the damaged structures in each patient, and, thus, establish a personalized rehabilitation program for each one of their individual cases.

Our personalized rehabilitation programs at Rehab and Revive include the following therapies:

  • Scar Tissue work

  • Rebalancing and aligning joints (such as the neck and ribcage)

  • Manual therapy techniques to help promote better joint biomechanics

  • Nerve mobilization

  • Re-education techniques like Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) to improve timing for proper movement and engagement.

  • Therapeutic exercises which promote stability, mobilization, strengthening, and endurance

Ergonomic and Postural corrections for standing, sitting and sleeping are made by our expert team of physical therapists for our patients, whether in their workplace, sports field, or activities of daily function. The collaboration and active involvement of our patients in their own treatment is a key factor to consider.

In overuse injuries, it is fundamental that the physical therapist can assess and treat the patient with the greatest haste possible from the very beginning of the discomfort. Otherwise, the injuries may worsen and therefore complicate and delay their recovery. This is why it’s imperative to seek the help of one of our specialized physical therapists at Rehab and Revive as soon as possible to prevent any serious damage to your shoulder. Come visit us and Rehab and Revive today!

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