Shoulder Soreness Move It Or Immobilize It?
I’ve recently seen an increasing number of patients who have had a sudden onset of shoulder soreness and pain, and they thought they were doing the right thing by immobilizing or avoiding use of the arm due to the pain. By the time they decided something was wrong and sought medical care, they ended up with two problems. The first is the original injury causing the shoulder soreness, and the second is that their arm is so tight and painful that they can’t move their arm away from their side. Now we have a daunting task of first trying to get motion back before we can address the original shoulder injury.
Keep That Shoulder Moving
My professional advice to those who suddenly experience shoulder soreness is to make sure you find ways to keep that arm mobile. More than likely reaching up into cub boards, reaching back into the back seat, or reaching into a long sleeved shirt will be painful. Its important to find other more gentle motions that will be better tolerated. Your focus should be on finding motions that stretch but don’t overly irritate the shoulder soreness. Carefully reaching behind your back, behind your head, and rotating your hand away from your body while keeping your elbow at your side are helpful and safe stretches to work on at home.
The Ideal Solution to Fixing Your Shoulder Soreness
For best results in fixing your shoulder soreness, you should carefully work to keep your arm mobile, and get in to see a licensed Physical Therapist as soon as possible. Certain motions might still be painful but don’t loose ground while you wait to see a professional. A good physical therapist will evaluate your shoulder and develop a customized exercise routine for home and while you are in their office to help eliminate your shoulder soreness and prevent it from coming back.
Many patients I see have had numerous episodes of Shoulder Soreness and pain.
Obviously something is wrong; otherwise they wouldn’t continue to have episodes of shoulder soreness. So addressing the issue differently is critical. An individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific areas of tightness and weakness, and may include some shoulder joint stretches is necessary. Be leery of providers that leave you on your own to do exercises without supervision and/or use modalities that only mask things temporarily without dealing directly with solving the problem. Its important to do something now before you develop a more serious shoulder injury that could require surgery.
As a reminder, all patients do not need a referral to go to physical therapy. Call now to make an appointment, and we’ll send all necessary communications to your primary care provider.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy with Siskiyou PT
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