The shoulder joint is a ball-and-socket joint, which allows it more motion than most any other joint in the body. This ball and socket joint, the glenohumeral joint, is what we most often think of when we are referring to the shoulder. The acromioclavicular joint and scapulothoracic joint also make up the shoulder complex, in addition to a compound network of muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bursa sacs.Four muscles in the shoulder region form the rotator cuff. This intricate system of muscles surrounds the shoulder joint and is a major source of muscular stability in the shoulder.We all use our shoulder joints daily as we dress, bath, lift, reach, and work. An injury to the shoulder has a profound effect on our activities of daily living and can lead to reduced strength and range of motion in the arm and hand. Common shoulder problems include:

  • Rotator Cuff Tear: A tear in one or several of the muscles that control shoulder motion. Causes include direct trauma to the shoulder or repetitive use which pinches the rotator cuff muscles, leading to fraying or tearing of the tendons and muscles
  • Rotator cuff Tendonitis: Inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons, usually due to overuse
  • Bicep Tendonitis: Inflammation of the bicep tendon, usually due to overuse, poor posture, or misuse of the tendon during shoulder motion
  • Shoulder Instability: Excessive shoulder motion, leading to pain and apprehension in end ranges of motion. Subluxation or dislocation of the glenohumeral joint may ensue
  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): An inflammatory process causing severe restriction in shoulder range of motion
  • Osteoarthritis: Deterioration of the cartilage that lines the shoulder joint, leading to bone on bone contact, causing pain and limited motion
  • AC Joint Sprain/Separation: Usually caused by direct trauma; causes pain and limited motion

Our therapists aim to treat shoulder injuries and conditions by:

  • Offering pain relieving modalities such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, and iontophoresis
  • Evaluating and treating the cause of the problem:
  • Therapeutic exercise to increase range of motion
  • Postural re-education
  • Strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles
  • Providing an individualized home exercise program to prevent re occurrence