Shoulder and Neck Pain

The shoulder and the neck are very close muscle groups and a weakness in the shoulders can easily cause pain and effect the functionality of your neck or vise versa.  Hence, the common brothering conditions, Tech-Neck and rounded shoulders.

What causes shoulder pain?

The most common causes to chronic shoulder pain are impingement and/or an over development of the front shoulder muscles and chest.

Shoulder impingement or shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition that develops when the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulders get overused or injured, resulting in pain and movement impairments. Our shoulders are made up of 3 bones–the humerus, the scapula, and the clavicle.

The main causes of shoulder pain and impingement:

  • Repetitive muscle group activation from sports, for example golfing, throwing, racquet sports, and swimming, or frequent overhead reaching or lifting.
  • A serious injury, such as a falling.
  • Abnormalities of the skeletal system, such as a narrowing in the subacromial space.
  • Arthritis in the shoulder region.
  • Poor rotator cuff and shoulder muscle strength
  • Muscle thickening of the bursa.
  • A thickening of the ligaments in the shoulder area.
  • Tightness of the soft tissue around the shoulder.

Physical Therapy vs. Shoulder Pain

Physical therapy can be very successful in treating shoulder pain caused by impingement.  Our physical therapist will work with you to devise a treatment plan that is specific to your condition and goals. Your treatment program may include:

  • Pain Management. Your physical therapist will help you identify and avoid the painful movements, as well as correct the abnormal postures that may be causing the shoulder compression. Iontophoresis and ultrasound might be used. Ice can be used to help reduce pain.
  • Manual Therapy. Such as gentle joint movements, soft-tissue massage, and shoulder stretches to get your shoulder moving properly.
  • Range-of-Motion Exercises. You will learn exercises and stretches to help your shoulder function properly, that way you can return to reaching and lifting without pain.
  • Strengthening Exercises.
  • Education on Posture and Home Remedies
  • Functional Training. As your symptoms improve, your physical therapist will teach you how to correctly perform a range of functions using proper shoulder mechanics, such as lifting an object onto a shelf or throwing a ball.

Prevention

Shoulder impingement syndrome can be prevented by:

  • Maintaining equal strength in all areas of the shoulder muscles–front, middle, and rear shoulder heads.
  • Regularly stretching the shoulders, neck, and middle-back region.
  • Maintaining proper posture and shoulder alignment when performing reaching and throwing motions.
  • Avoiding forward-head and rounded-shoulder postures, being hunched over, when spending long periods of time sitting at a desk or computer.