By Dr. Dana Patterson, PT, DPT
Do you get shoulder pain when reaching overhead making daily tasks more painful and difficult than they should be? Most people with shoulder impingement “feel fine” when their arm is at rest but when they “move it a certain way,” it creates an acute, sharp pain, generally on the outside of their shoulder and may travel down their arm. This is called “shoulder impingement” because of how the acromion (bone on top of your shoulder) pinches on underlying structures and muscle tendons. Shoulder impingement is often a result of muscle strength and flexibility imbalances, as well as capsule or tendon tightness. These imbalances can result in shoulder impingement as well as other conditions such as “bursitis” and rotator cuff tendonitis.
What You Can Do To Help Prevent Shoulder Impingement and Pain
- Sit with good posture and reduce “rounding” or “hunched” positioning of your shoulders and upper back/neck
- Perform scapular retraction exercises
- Stretch your pectoralis muscles
How Can Physical Therapy Help Shoulder Impingement?
If your pain persists, physical therapy can help treat your shoulder pain and limitations. At Parry Physical Therapy Group, a doctor of physical therapy will perform a detailed examination and provide a specific diagnosis. A personalized plan of care will be created to address your needs. Our physical therapists will develop a treatment plan specifically for you including:
- Strengthening and stretching exercises involving your shoulders, neck and upper back to decrease the muscular imbalances and improve your shoulder mechanics and decrease the impingement and irritation to the affected structures.
- Hands-on manual therapy techniques which include stretching, mobilizations and/or massage
- Modalities such as heat, cold or ultrasound to improve mobility, decrease inflammation and decrease pain.
- You will be instructed in a home exercise program to help you maintain the gains you made in physical therapy.
At Parry Physical Therapy Group, our physical therapists are licensed for Direct Access. That means you won’t need a prescription or referral from your physician to receive an evaluation from our specialists! For more information, contact us (215) 538-1999 or visit our website at www.ParryPTGroup.com.
Start with GOOD POSTURE = pull your shoulders back before you reach! Don’t let shoulder pain or shoulder injury limit you, seeking the help of a physical therapist will help you continue to put your dishes away and reach the top shelf in your closet…without pain!