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Shoulder Pain in New Jersey

The complex joint and soft tissues of the shoulder are susceptible to an array of different injuries. The physical therapists of Performance Rehabilitation, located in Totowa and Lafayette Township, specialize in shoulder pain treatments for men and women in New Jersey.

What is Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain may develop in the glenohumeral joint, AC joint, SC joint, bursa, scapula, and upper arm. Shoulder pain typically becomes worse when the shoulder or arm is moved overhead or behind the back.

Some diseases and conditions that impact the chest or abdominal structures, such as gallbladder or heart disease, can also result in shoulder pain. Pain in the shoulder that is caused by another part of the body is known as “referred pain.” Referred pain in the shoulder does not become worse with arm or shoulder movement. Radiating pain into the shoulder may also be caused by a cervical problem.

What are the Causes of Shoulder Pain?

Common shoulder pain causes can include:

  • Arthritis – such as septic and rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Bursitis – an inflammation of the bursa sacs protecting the shoulder.
  • Tendonitis – an inflammation of the tendons.
  • Bone spurs – projections of bony tissue that form on the edges of bones.
  • Cartilage tears
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Pinched nerves
  • Broken bone – in the shoulder or arm.
  • Frozen shoulder – wherein ligaments, muscles and tendons become stiff and may be difficult or impossible to use.
  • Repetitive strain injuries – caused by overusing a neighboring area, like the bicep.
  • Separated shoulder – wherein the ligaments connecting the shoulder blade and collarbone tear, causing the collarbone to become dislocated.
  • Injury of the spinal cord
  • Shoulder dislocation – wherein the top portion of the humerus (upper arm bone) becomes separated from the shoulder socket.
  • Heart attack

What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is usually experienced in the topmost portion of the arm or the front of the shoulder. Pain is most often felt during arm movement, and it may be felt only during certain motions. The majority of shoulder issues don’t result in pain when the arm is not in motion. However, many individuals experience pain if they lie on the affected shoulder. Pain that radiates down to the hand, along with numbness and tingling in the fingers, can be caused by neck conditions rather than shoulder problems.

How is Shoulder Pain Diagnosed?

At Performance Rehabilitation, we will want to determine what is causing your shoulder pain. We will perform a physical exam, which involves ruling out the cervical spine as the cause of your shoulder pain. Shoulder joint mobility, stability, range of motion, and strength will be assessed. Your nerve mobility will be assessed to determine if this is a contributing factor as to the cause of your shoulder pain. If needed, your physician will order an MRI to help diagnose a tear in the rotator cuff or labrum.

How is Shoulder Pain Treated at Performance Rehabilitation?

Shoulder injuries are seen in all patient populations, from the athletic population that develops a repetitive strain of the rotator cuff to the elderly patient who may have developed arthritis. Physical therapists at Performance Rehabilitation utilize an orthopedic manual therapy approach that identifies the cause of the patient’s problem. Shoulder position and posture may have led to an impingement syndrome. Mobilization of the shoulder, cervical spine, and/or scapula-thoracic joint may be indicated to restore normal mechanics to eliminate impingement of the rotator cuff musculature. This prevents wear and tear to the rotator cuff that would ultimately lead to a rotator cuff tear. Even if you are diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear of SLAP tear (shoulder cartilage injury), depending on the extent of your injury, physical therapy can often prevent the need for a shoulder surgery. Our therapists work closely with your orthopedic surgeon to prevent a surgery, pre-rehab you for a necessary surgical intervention, and work with you after a surgical reconstruction (either rotator cuff repair, SLAP repair, biceps repair, Bankart repair, or shoulder replacement). Our therapist’s expertise will facilitate and move you from the irritable, painful stage of healing to the strengthening phase of your recovery that includes scapular, rotator cuff, and whole body GravityFit exercise system to maximize function and performance.

Because shoulder pain may be caused by many medical conditions, ranging from mild to severe, you should be examined by a qualified shoulder pain specialist at Performance Rehabilitation. Contact us to schedule a consultation at our office in Totowa and Lafayette Township in New Jersey.