Shoulder Pain and Physical Therapy

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Shoulder pain is a common problem that can cause a significant loss of function and mobility. Without your arms functioning normally you may have difficulty lifting, putting on clothes, doing housework, or playing sports.


Sometimes there is a trauma such as a fall or twist, but other times shoulder pain can result from changes related to aging such as arthritis. A "frozen shoulder" can occur after any situation in which you limit your movement due to pain or injury. Tendonitis can happen with repetitive movements.


Physical Therapy can help by finding out the problems in the shoulder, then work to restore movement and ease pain. Education and home exercise can also help return you to the activities you love.



Common Symptoms of Shoulder Pain:


  • pain with lifting, raising arm overhead, reaching behind back

  • swelling

  • difficulty sleeping due to pain

  • unable to sleep on painful side

  • Limitation in shoulder movement


Shoulder Conditions


  • Shoulder Impingement

  • Rotator Cuff Injury

  • Shoulder Tendonitis

  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Shoulder Bursitis


Conservative Physical Therapy management of shoulder pain may include:

  • Modalities: such as heat and ice

  • Manual Therapy:  “hands on” treatment to improve pain and restore function and movement. 

  • Mobilization and Manipulation:  movement of a joint to improve pain and restore functional movement.

  • Therapeutic Exercise:  specific exercise to improve pain and restore functional movement. 

  • Functional Movement Training:  exercises to improve posture and movement.  

  • Electrical Stimulation or TENS:  used to help improve pain, inflammation, muscle spasm, muscle function, and circulation.


To schedule an appointment with Clemens Physical Therapy call 304-842-6008



Physical Therapists are specialists in restoring movement and function related to muscle, bone, or joint dysfunction.  They often work to improve pain and disability.  To learn more about PT or find one in your area, check out a consumer oriented site on PT here



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