How Therapy Can Often Lead to Better Outcomes Than Surgery for Shoulder Injuries

by Crafted Physical Therapy

The human body’s shoulders are designed like a ball-in-socket joint. These sockets are shallow, which are a stark contrast to the deep sockets of the hips. A good visual of the shoulder is a golf ball sitting on a tee. Due to the shallow depth of the shoulder, the surrounding muscles and ligaments are important to maintain stability and mobility. 

If these structures become imbalanced, it leads to a condition called impingement. Impingements occur when the rotator cuff tendons or the bursa become pinched. This can happen from repetitive motions, overuse or simply years of poor posture. 

When shoulder pain develops, it’s important to get it checked out right away. It could be something as simple as a strain, which can be treated with physical therapy. If it’s a more serious condition, like a tear, surgery may be required, with physical therapy prescribed pre and post-surgery. 

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How Many People Suffer From Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is one of the most neglected joints, but it’s one of the most used, affecting arm, hand and even elbow movements. It’s estimated that roughly 60-70% of people suffer from shoulder pain, with it spiking during patients’ 40’s and 50’s.

Types of Shoulder Pain 

In primary impingement, patients usually present with a pain in either the front or outside of the shoulder or arm, while others report a sense of weakness in the affected arm. This can cause difficulty sleeping on that side of the body or reaching or extending the arm above, side to side or behind. 

In secondary impingement, those suffering from pain are typically younger athletes. This type of injury occurs after repetitive overuse, like throwing. This can create muscular imbalance. In both types of impingement, there is pain and inflammation, which can increase weakness in the shoulder.

How Therapy Helps Repair Shoulder Injuries 

If left untreated, impingement can lead to chronic inflammation. This leads to significant pain and reduction in quality of life. If tendons are continually pinched, they can tear, which will require surgery to repair. When quickly and properly addressed by a physical therapist, many shoulder issues can be resolved without surgery.

Hands-on, manual therapy can break the cycle of impingement and restore range of motion and reduce stiffness and inflammation. Research shows that hands-on shoulder therapy, along with performing specific exercises significantly restores normal function and quickly reduces pain. 

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Crafted Physical Therapy is Here to Help Your Shoulder Pain

Recognizing and addressing shoulder pain early is the biggest key to success. The experts at Crafted Physical Therapy are here to help develop an advanced hands-on, manual therapy treatment to improve strength and range of motion. Coupled with a specific exercise program, these results have shown to have better and longer-lasting outcomes than surgery. If you’re ready to address your shoulder pain, give us a call at (720) 204-4567 or visit us online today.