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Common Shoulder Injuries

These are some of the more common and general injuries we may see and are not an exhaustive list. Our dedicated and experienced staff will work with you on any issues and pain you may be experiencing and create a unique plan of care to meet and exceed your goals.

Labral Tear

There are multiple types of shoulder labral tears which often present with pain, loss of range of motion, and feelings of instability in the shoulder. Labral tears can be managed conservatively with physical therapy depending on the severity of the injury.

Shoulder Tendinopathy

Tendinopathy (also referred to as tendinitis or tendinosis) is characterized by a painful tendon that limits function. Common areas for tendinopathy in the shoulder include the rotator cuff and biceps tendons. This painful condition can be managed by physical therapy through symptom management, a progressive exercise (or loading) routine, and stretching as needed. Throughout your plan of care, your physical therapist will encourage activity modification, provide home exercises, and work with you to establish an effective management plan so that you can continue to perform.

Post Op Shoulder
Rotator cuff repair, shoulder labral repairs (SLAP, Bankart, Anterior, Posterior), biceps tenodesis, and more are frequently seen in physical therapy rehabilitation settings. Following evaluation, your physical therapist will work with you and your surgical team to establish a rehabilitation plan that suits your needs. Your surgeon will often provide a rehabilitation protocol specific to your operation that your physical therapist will utilize to assist your recovery.

Frozen Shoulder
Adhesive capsulitis is a condition characterized by a gradual loss of range of motion in the shoulder and pain that limits daily activities. This can occur without cause (idiopathic) or following a trauma or other procedure that limits the movement of the shoulder for a period of time. The process of adhesive capsulitis often takes months to a year or more to resolve and is characterized by three phases. The shoulder is initially very painful and a gradual stiffening and loss of range of motion is observed. The shoulder then remains stiff with a relatively lower pain level for a period of time before it begins to loosen and a gradual restoration of function is observed. Physical therapy may assist throughout this process to provide symptom management strategies, assist in activity modification, maintain function both locally about the shoulder and systemically, and to assist in the returning function in later stages of this process.

Osteoarthritis is a condition characterized by painful and stiff joints that limit function. At the shoulder, this may present as a loss of range of motion in all directions, painful movement, and an inability to perform daily activities without pain. Osteoarthritis responds favorably to physical therapy management including range of motion activities, strengthening, activity modification, and general exercise routines.

Little League Shoulder
Little league shoulder is characterized by a painful shoulder during and following throwing, often resulting in decreased performance and function. It is most commonly observed in youth baseball pitchers however can be observed in other “overhead” athletes as well. Diagnosis is usually confirmed by x-ray although MRI may be indicated at the determination of the medical team to rule out other soft tissue injuries. Little league shoulder is characterized by a stress reaction occurring at the growth plate of the upper arm nearest the shoulder. Little league shoulder is generally managed by a period of time abstaining from throwing before initiating a return to throwing program once cleared by the medical team and the athlete is determined to be physically ready to throw by the physical therapist. Physical therapy care initially involves symptom management, restoring and maintaining range of motion through stretching, and strengthening of the arm, shoulder, and back to prepare the athlete for throwing once cleared by the medical team.

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