by Dr. Michael Baranov, PT, September 23, 2015
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body, with a wide range of motion. As with any injury, injuries to the shoulder cause pain and discomfort. That’s why many are searching for a shoulder pain treatment in Fresh Meadows. When pain or injury occurs in your shoulder, it can severely limit your range of motion and prevent you from carrying out your normal daily activities.
National Statistics on Shoulder Pain
According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1.2 million people visit an emergency room for shoulder injuries each year in the United States. Luckily, though, most shoulder injuries do not require emergency medical treatment or surgery. In fact, most quickly improve with physical therapy and other non-invasive treatments.
We Understand the Shoulder
Understanding how the shoulder works is important in understanding why physical therapy is often effective in reducing pain. The shoulder joint is where the long bone in the arm (humerus), the collarbone (clavicle) and the shoulder blade (scapula) meet. Damage to the bones themselves is fairly rare, but the cartilage and tendons that surround them can be easily injured.
One of the most effective treatments for shoulder pain caused by many of these soft tissue injuries is physical therapy. Doing a series of shoulder exercises under the direction of a well-trained therapist will strengthen the tendons that stabilize the joint, as well as help regain any range of motion lost. Other treatments may include applying heat or ice to the area, and using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling.
Don’t Take Our Word on It – Here’s the Research as Reported in Reuters
Rhon and his team randomly divided 104 patients with this kind of pain into two groups. One group received physical therapy twice a week for three weeks. The therapists evaluated weakness, mobility and pain and performed stretches, contract-relax techniques and reinforcing exercises on the shoulder or upper spine area. They also prescribed at-home exercises for the patients.
Patients in the other group were offered up to three injections of corticosteroids over the course of a year. They also received printed instructions for gentle exercises to do at home.
Both groups had significant improvement in symptoms after one month, which continued over the one-year period of the study, the research team reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Patients’ scores on pain and disability were reduced by half with either treatment.
By the end of the year, 60 percent of the steroid injection group had returned to their primary care doctor for shoulder pain again, compared to 37 percent of the physical therapy group. The injection group was also more likely to end up having more injections or additional physical therapy.
Physical Therapy Can Address the Pain, Limited Motion, Weakness, and Trouble with Daily Activities
Once a shoulder has been injured, the pain is likely to return without proper rehabilitation. In addition, it is important to know how to prevent further injuries to the shoulder. A physical therapist can demonstrate a few range-of-motion exercises that can strengthen the joint as well as help to prevent the soft tissues from being injured.
If you need shoulder pain treatment in Fresh Meadows, MBF Rehab can help. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.