Shoulder Pain

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Resources and Information

Shoulder Pain Symptoms

The location and severity of shoulder pain can vary, depending on the cause of the problem. Signs and symptoms that sometimes accompany shoulder pain are:

Achy or stiff feeling
Pain during movement
Red and swollen appearance
Arm weakness
Loss of flexibility

Common Shoulder Injuries and Conditions

How Will My Shoulder Pain Be Diagnosed?

Your physical therapist will perform an evaluation that will start with discussing your medical history and your symptoms. Your therapist will examine your strength and range of motion, check your functional abilities (like reaching up and behind your back), ask you your goals and then come up with a personalized treatment plan to relieve your shoulder pain and restore your mobility.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Me?

Pain management

Your physical therapist may provide treatments using different "modalities" such as ice, heat, ultrasound, or electrical stimulation to help decrease pain and swelling.

Manual therapy

Your therapist will apply manual (hands-on) therapy to gently guide movement of the shoulder area to restore joint and tissue mobility.

Therapeutic exercises

Your physical therapist will prescribe specific strengthening, flexibility, and endurance exercises to address your specific needs and goals.

Functional exercises

You will learn individualized exercises designed to help you return to your home, work, and sport activities. These also may include balance and coordination exercises.

Self-care instruction

Your physical therapist will teach you ways to manage your pain at home, and design a safe and effective home-exercise program based on your specific condition, which you can continue long after your formal physical therapy sessions have ended. You also will learn how to avoid placing unnecessary forces on the shoulder during your daily activities for years to come.