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Shoulder Pain – Trouble Working, Training and even Sleeping

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August 23, 2015
By: Peter Fuller


What is it?
Shoulder pain is usually described as pain in the shoulder joint. Signs and symptoms typically begin gradually, worsen over time. One might experience and/or feel tightness, tension, restriction of movement, cracking/popping noise during movement.

If not taken care of through some sort of therapy, symptoms usually progressively worsen. Eventually, any movement of the shoulder causes pain, and range of motion may start to become limited. The Shoulder may begin to feel frozen. In this stage, pain may begin to diminish, however, the shoulder becomes stiffer, and using it becomes more difficult. For some people, the pain worsens at night, sometimes disrupting sleep. For others, there is a decrease in strength; numbness, tingly, achy, or other uncomfortable sensations and/or unwanted indicators.

The muscles, ligament and tendons become tight and restricted. If left unchecked, the shoulder become less mobile and over time, adhesion and/or calcification may occur.

Perhaps the condition develops through over-use, over training, improper form/technique, repetitive movements, stress, acute trauma, degenerative issues. For whatever, the pain gets worse, structures on the body become compromised, mobility becomes increasingly more difficult and function becomes limited. In some cases, Frozen Shoulder may develop.

This occurs, when the bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint are encased in a capsule of connective tissue. Frozen shoulder occurs when this capsule thickens and tightens around the shoulder joint, restricting its movement.

If conservative treatment measures are unsuccessful, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Doctors aren’t sure why this happens to some people, although it’s more likely to occur in people who have diabetes or those who recently had to immobilize their shoulder for a long period, such as after surgery or an arm fracture.


The literature shows support for stretching and strengthening the shoulder girdle muscles. Corticosteroid injections, compression/sling is sometimes recommended / prescribed.

It is important to seek a proper evaluation of shoulder pain to determine the cause of the problem and to start the proper treatment program for the condition.

The Shoulder joint is fixed differently than other joints. As such, many shoulder injuries take 3-6 months before noticeable improvement is noted. Most shoulders typically resolve within 12 to 18 months.


• Reduce pain and inflammation and tissue stress
• Restore muscle strength and flexibility
• Normalize strength, flexibility, and restore lower extremity functional mobility

Intervention Approaches / Strategies
• Therapeutic Exercise
• Shoulder (Head/Neck/Shoulder) stretching exercises
• Nerve mobility exercises
• Strengthening exercise
• Manual Therapy
• Soft tissue mobilization to fascia of Mayofascial tissues suspected of creating the entrapment
• Neural mobilization

Manual therapy modalities may be used to decrease inflammation and pain. Therapeutic exercise will increase strength and flexibility of the shoulder (shoulder girdle and surrounding structures) and manual therapy will address soft tissue and joint limitations.

Realistically, many things improve after just 5 or 6 visits. Note: age of individual; activity level; age of injury; all come into play as well.

Please do not let pain or inflexibility linger on for weeks, months, years, or decades. If left alone, things do not typically get better; actually they tend to get progressively worse. It is important to stay alert, pay attention to your body and invest in regular manual therapy. It will help keep you moving well and your lymphatic system flowing optimally.

We hope you will consider giving Complete Health Fitness (CHF) a call. We would be happy to provide therapy to you and assist you.


This information is intended for general reference purposes only.  Neither this information nor transmissions between you and Complete Health Fitness are intended to provide and/or substitute for legal advice, professional medical advice or a medical exam and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before starting any new treatment.

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