Common Shoulder Injuries

The shoulder is a commonly used area of the body, which means that it is prone to many different types of injury. Injuries to this region can be caused by deterioration, injury, and even disease. Some common afflictions that you probably have heard of include dislocation, separation, frozen shoulder, rotator cuff disease or tear, fracture, and conditions related to arthritis. Treatment can be very different for many of these injuries, but it is best to spot the symptoms early on to ensure that you get the most in-depth treatment possible.

When the shoulder is dislocated, a doctor might have to push the joint back into place. After this procedure, the shoulder may still be impaired. Physical therapy can help extend the shoulder back to its full range of motion. Certain exercises can prevent further injuries as well. The joint should be iced several times a day to accelerate the healing process and reduce swelling. A separation, just like a dislocation, can be caused by hard contact with the shoulder but is a very different kind of injury. It involves the ligament between the shoulder and the collarbone tearing. A sling, ice, rest, and exercises can help repair this, but depending on the severity, surgery might be necessary.

Rotator cuff disease, often a combination of tendonitis or bursitis, can be caused by rheumatoid arthritis or overuse of the joint. This causes the bursa or a pouch of fluid that protects the joint to become swollen. Aspirin and ice can help treat this, as well as an ultrasound to improve blood flow. Surgery may be necessary if the condition does not show improvement over an extended period of time. A rotator cuff tear, another common injury, can be the result of old age or overuse. The treatment for a tear is very similar to that of rotator cuff disease, but also includes electrical stimulation of the nerves and muscles. As opposed to overuse, a lack of use can cause frozen shoulder. A lack of use can be the result of chronic pain or a rheumatic disease or even tissue growing that prevents one from moving the shoulder. It can be treated with stretching exercises, cortisone injection, and electrical stimulation. Surgery may also be necessary for this situation if the condition does not improve.

A fracture is also common, but is usually repaired by a doctor putting the bones back where they belong, and putting the arm in a sling. Strengthening exercises are useful in this situation once the joint has healed. Above all, the shoulder is a crucial part of the body. Anything irregular including pain or discomfort, or reduced motion should be addressed immediately. Physical therapy can be a great, non-invasive method of treating shoulder injuries before resorting to surgery. Call a therapist today to see if physical therapy can be the right choice for you.


Did you know that you have Direct Access to Physical Therapy? No referral is needed. We offer the best Physical Therapy on Long Island where you can get help from our trusted and expert Physical Therapists. We have several locations on Long Island including Massapequa, Valley Stream, Wantagh and Lindenhurst. To start your Physical Therapy evaluation, call Park Physical Therapy and The Physical Therapy Alliance at (516) 568-4444.