Shoulder pain is a common complaint amongst patients presenting to physical therapy for an initial evaluation. Equally common is the subjective statement from the patient that he/she has no idea of how or why the shoulder pain came on in the first place. Deciphering the true cause of shoulder pain can be a difficult task, as there are many causes of potential shoulder pain such as tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, ligament sprains, fractures, labral tears, referred pain from the neck or upper thoracic spine, referred pain from the viscera (lungs, heart, diaphragm), among other causes.

At Life’s Work Physical Therapy, we are specifically trained in performing thorough evaluations of patients with shoulder pain through effective diagnostics and treatment. More importantly, we go above and beyond the stage of recovery and seek to prevent future occurrences or other pains. Contact us today to schedule an appointment in one of our Portland locations.

Common findings with shoulder pain, which can contribute to a patient’s shoulder pain complaint, include:

  • Neck stiffness and/or instability
  • Thoracic spine stiffness
  • Shoulder capsule stiffnesses
  • Muscle imbalances and weaknesses
  • Poor breathing habits
  • Postural and ergonomic issues
  • Shoulder joint hypermobilities (i.e. shoulder laxity)

Research has highlighted the importance of addressing not only the painful structure(s) which are present, but also address these other clinical findings to help decrease those future occurrences. Most shoulder pain occurs from cumulative microtrauma of tissues (such as the rotator cuff tendons), secondary to something else within the body setting that tendon up for failure. Though much of the time will be spent on treatment to promote the proper healing of the affected tissue, a great deal of time will also be spent on these other findings to help that healed tissue stay healthy.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, contact Life’s Work Physical Therapy. Waiting too long before seeking professional assistance can produce chronic shoulder pain, making it more difficult and time-consuming to treat. From our thorough subjective evaluation regarding the client’s health history and activities to our detailed examination of the shoulder, neck, and thoracic spine, we strive to educate our clients on the steps needed to treat and self-manage their body for reduced pain and long-term success. Read more about our highly satisfied patient testimonials and outcome statistics.