Shoulder Pain Relief Lansing, Okemos & Dewitt, MI

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is not only uncomfortable but limits mobility making it hard to function for normal everyday activities. These limitations from shoulder pain can be the result of many causes. The most common causes, however, are an injured rotator cuff or soreness of the subacromial bursa. However, there are many other causes of shoulder pain which include athletic soreness, bony abnormalities, injuries, osteoarthritis, or thickening of the ligaments in the shoulder area. 

The Rotator Cuff

The primary joint in the shoulder is formed by the shoulder blade and arm bone. It’s the joint socket that allows a wide range of motion and keeps the shoulder steady while in motion. The rotator cuff itself consists of four main muscles that surround the arm bone which like any muscle, can be torn and is a fairly common injury. 

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is another name for adhesive capsulitis. It’s a shoulder condition that limits the range of motion. It can be caused by long periods of inactivity, diabetes or surgery. Scar tissue may form in this area, and as a result, the shoulder joint does not have proper space to rotate normally. Symptoms typically include stiffness, pain or swelling in the shoulder. Gradually, the ability to move the shoulder becomes less and less. Reaching for an item may soon become impossible because of it.

Physical Therapy 

Physical therapy is a non-invasive option for treatment that is common and effective for pain in the shoulder and rotator cuff. A physical therapist will perform a comprehensive exam along with an evaluation that includes strength and motion tests to check for any weakness in the shoulder. X-rays may also be taken to identify other conditions to help determine the root cause of the shoulder pain.

Physical therapy services may include manual therapy, range-of-motion exercises, functional training, soft tissue massage, and strengthening exercises.

Manual techniques may include therapeutic modalities like ultrasound and iontophoresis. Depending on the type and extent of the shoulder injury, physical therapy can be a short term solution with long-lasting effects. Our educated and professional team of physical therapists will work with patients to educate on how to improve posture and gait while helping to avoid future injury to the shoulder. Oftentimes, patients are given a home exercise program for lifelong protection and health of the shoulders.


What is the best exercise for shoulder pain?

While there is no one-stop solution for shoulder pain, there are many exercises that can be done to help strengthen the rotator cuff region and ease the pain you are expereincing. Our physical therapists are highly trained to help improve the flexibility and range of motion in your shoulder, in addition to relieving your pain and discomfort. This will be done through an individualized treatment plan designed specifically for you, including therapeutic modalities and targeted pain-relief exercises. A couple common rotator cuff-strengthening exercises that physical therapists prescribe are wall push-ups and chair push-ups. Resistance bands can also be used to increase the strength in your shoulder and help relieve pain. However, it is important to note that if your pain is serious, these exercises should not be performed without the aid of a physical therapist.

How many types of shoulder pain exist?

When it comes to your upper extremities, injuries typically fall into two categories: acute or overuse. Acute injuries are caused by a single specific incident, such as a strain or tear. Overuse injuries are caused by excessive repetitive movements over time. Both acute and overuse injuries can range from mild to severe and can have a significant impact on daily life function. Shoulder pain can also be chronic, meaning it has persisted for 3 months or longer, despite efforts to relieve it. If you have been living with chronic shoulder pain, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as possible, so they can get to the root of the problem and treat you accordingly.

Can physical therapy help shoulder pain?

Two of the biggest goals of physical therapy are 1) to alleviate your pain and 2) to improve your function. Your physical therapist will work with you to make sure that both of these are achieved throughout your physical therapy sessions. Physical therapy has been proven to manage the pain of several conditions, and in many cases, it has even been proven to eliminate shoulder pain altogether, thus making the need for harmful drugs or surgical intervention obsolete.

What are the causes of shoulder pain?

There are several underlying causes that could result in shoulder pain. For example, a sudden injury or trauma to the shoulders can cause them to become painful. Repetitive motions can also cause shoulder pain, as your muscles, joints, and tendons are working in overdrive. While there are multiple factors that could be causing your shoulder pain, some of the most common include sprains, strains, a torn cartilage, dislocation, frozen shoulder, tendinitis, and arthritis.