Shoulder dysfunctions are very common in individuals of all ages. One does not have to be involved in athletics to develop shoulder problems. Shoulder dysfunction results from altered glenohumeral joint mechanics.
If you suspect shoulder dysfunction, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Do I have shoulder and/or upper arm pain? Am I able to lift my arm overhead? Do I have difficulty with buckling my bra? Is it difficult to get my wallet out of my back pocket? Do I have pain when trying to sleep on this one side?
If the answer is “Yes” to any of the above questions, you may very likely have shoulder dysfunction.
The most common medical diagnoses for shoulder problems are rotator cuff tears, impingement syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). The shoulder is a ball and socket joint which allows for a large amount of movement at the expense of stability. The muscles around the glenohumeral joint and the scapula (shoulder blade) provide stability. They are known as the rotator cuff muscles: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis. These muscles act in concert to achieve stability of the shoulder and allow for the large amount of movement. “When there is a breakdown in their function, either by trauma or overuse, the above listed diagnoses materialize,” said physical therapist Craig Pahl, PT,MHS, coowner and president of Physical Therapy Associates, P.A. “From these dysfunctions, patients experience pain, decreased shoulder range of motion, weakness and difficulty using the upper extremity during functional activities.”
At Physical Therapy Associates, P.A., conservative treatment is effectively handled by licensed and trained physical therapists who are educated at the graduate level. The team has extensive experience and well versed in effective treatment options. Treatment plans tailored to meet individual needs are developed for each patient.
Physical Therapy Associates, P.A. incorporates an individualized physical therapy program consisting of education, flexibility, strength and fitness. Patients who participate in this program experience less pain and are able to return more quickly to a healthy, active lifestyle than those who do not receive proper treatment.
“We educate our patients so they understand the biomechanics of this disorder and our plan of treatment,” noted Craig Pahl. “Through education patients are instructed to modify their activities as well as the ergonomics of the employment to lessen the repetitive trauma on the shoulder region and allow the injured tissue to heal.”
Pahl described another critical component of the treatment plan. “Flexibility is equally important, of both the shoulder muscles and joints to increase range of motion and increase the joint spaces, thus pain is notably reduced,” he said.
He also pointed out that strengthening the shoulder muscles will protect the joints from trauma and increase a patient’s pain-free function. Strengthening exercise usually commence below the horizontal to avoid further shoulder trauma. Fitness exercise increases the muscles endurance and the patient’s overall level of fitness.
By utilizing this unique program, patients experience decreased pain and overall function that leads to a better quality of life.
For 29 years, Physical Therapy Associates, P.A. has been committed to the delivery of quality orthopedic rehabilitation at a reasonable cost.
Physical Therapy Associates, P.A. is located at 6280 Sunset Drive, Suite 405, South Miami. For more information or to schedule a consultation or appointment with a physical therapist, please call 305-662-4915.