If you are dealing with nagging shoulder pain, have you asked yourself the big question: What is causing it? Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint among many ages. The shoulder is made up of many muscles and there are a variety of things that can affect them.
Often times this is caused by a part of the shoulder being compressed against another part. Anything that interferes with the gliding function of the shoulder can cause compression. This is known as shoulder impingement syndrome (SIS). The condition is especially common among people who do repetitive activities that involve raising their arms to or above shoulder level. When you picture this movement, a few sports immediately come to mind. Some of the most common are: swimming, throwing/ pitching, playing tennis, golf, volleyball, weight lifting and doing gymnastics.
Along with the many sports that involve this motion, there are also different job duties, such as painting and stocking shelves. Patients with impingement most commonly complain of shoulder pain, which is worse with overhead activity. It can be so severe, that it can wake you from your sleep. The first step is taking a break from the activity causing this pain. A physical therapist will evaluate you and identify the cause or contributing factor. Physical therapy is the main treatment of this condition. PT treatment will include many exercises to restore the normal strength and flexibility to the shoulder, including both the muscles of the rotator cuff and the muscles that move the shoulder blade. There are different stages of SIS. Stage 1 consists of swelling and inflammation. Stage 2 consists of weakening of the tendons in the shoulder, known as tendinopathy. Tendons are strong bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Stage 3 consists of a rotator cuff tear, biceps tendon rupture, or changes to the bones in the shoulder. If you are suffering from shoulder pain, call your local physical therapist for an evaluation TODAY!