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5 common shoulder injuries and what you can do about them

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint that allows a wide range of motion in the arm. It’s also one of the most commonly injured joints in the body. In fact, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, shoulder injuries account for approximately 4 million patient visits to orthopedic surgeons each year in the United States.




There are many different types of shoulder injuries, but some are more common than others. Here are five of the most common shoulder injuries and what you can do about them:


1. Rotator cuff tear:

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder joint in place. A rotator cuff tear is a partial or complete tear of one or more of these muscles or tendons. Symptoms of a rotator cuff tear include pain, weakness, and loss of motion in the shoulder. Treatment options include progressive strengthening, shoulder range of motion, and depending on the severity of the injury, surgery.


2. Labrum tear:

The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket and helps to hold the ball portion of the joint in place. A labrum tear is a partial or complete tear of this cartilage. Symptoms of a labrum tear include pain, clicking or popping sensations when moving the shoulder, and difficulty moving the shoulder through its full range of motion. Treatment options include stabilization and proprioception training to reduce the pain and instability caused by the tear. We also work with progressive overload to the shoulder to regain the capacity of the shoulder to tolerate activity.


3. Rotator cuff muscle strain:

The rotator cuff muscles can be strained by overuse or repetitive motions. Symptoms of a rotator cuff muscle strain include pain, weakness, and loss of motion in the shoulder. Treatment options include blood flow restriction training in order to load the muscle in early phase of rehab without progressing the strain. After initial phases we work on progressive open and closed chain strength movements. We also use dynamometry to accurately measure strength and ensure full recovery.


4. Impingement syndrome:

Impingement syndrome occurs when the muscles or tendons of the rotator cuff become trapped or pinched beneath the bone spur on top of the shoulder blade (known as the acromion). This can occur due to overuse or repetitive motions. Symptoms of impingement syndrome include pain when lifting the arm above the head or reaching behind the back, weakness in the arm, and loss of motion in the shoulder joint. Treatment options include manual therapy and joint mobilization to help reduce pain and improve mobility. We work on stretching to improve joint space and freedom of movement to alleviate irritation to the shoulder structures under the acromion.


5. Arthritis:

Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects joints throughout the body including shoulders . The two most common types of arthritis that affect shoulders are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis . Symptoms of arthritis include pain , stiffness , loss of motion in the joint , and inflammation . Treatment options for arthritis Include physical therapy exercises And stretching To maintain range of motion and strength in the joint. Surgery for shoulder replacement is an option as arthritis progresses to end stages. This is usually some that we can help to delay or prevent with physical therapy if we treat it early enough.


Shoulder injuries are extremely common , with approximately 4 million patients visiting orthopedic surgeons each year in The United States alone . There Are many Different types Of Shoulder injuries but some are more common than others . The 5 most common shoulder injuries are rotator cuff tear , labrum tear , rotator fuff muscle strain , impingement syndrome , and arthritis . treatment options vary depending on the severity of the injury but often include relative rest , ice , heat , physical therapy , and surgery .If you have a shoulder injury we highly recommend seeing a physical therapist first your therapist can help to guide you with your recovery and navigate the complex medical system.

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