If you are experiencing shoulder pain and loss of motion, you are not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from shoulder pain, and it can be difficult to know where to turn for help. Fortunately, the NC Center for PT is here to provide expert guidance and assistance. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for shoulder pain and loss of motion, so you can make an informed decision about your care.

Anatomy of the shoulder

The shoulder is a complex joint consisting of the humerus, clavicle, and scapula (shoulder blade). The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that allows for a wide range of motion. The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body. The shoulder is made up of several muscle groups working together, allowing it to move in multiple planes. These include the rotator cuff muscles, deltoids, trapezius, and serratus anterior.

The NC Center for PT explains that the shoulder is composed of three distinct joints. The glenohumeral joint is formed by the head of the humerus and the glenoid fossa of the scapula. This joint enables the shoulder to move in all directions. The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is between the acromion and the clavicle. This joint allows for rotation in the shoulder. The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is between the sternum and the clavicle. This joint provides stability to the shoulder complex.

Causes of shoulder pain and loss of motion

Shoulder pain and loss of motion can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  1. Injury: Injury to the shoulder can occur from overuse, sports activities, falls, or other trauma. This can cause strain and inflammation in the shoulder muscles and tendons, leading to pain and decreased range of motion.
  2. Arthritis: Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are both common causes of shoulder pain and stiffness. As these conditions progress, they can cause further damage to the shoulder joint, resulting in decreased mobility and more severe pain.
  3. Diseases: Diseases such as diabetes and thyroid conditions can affect the shoulder joint and lead to pain, swelling, and decreased motion.
  4. Pinched nerve: The nerves in the shoulder can become compressed due to poor posture, overuse of the shoulder muscles, or even a herniated disc in the neck. This can cause tingling and numbness in the shoulder, as well as pain and limited movement.
  5. Rotator cuff tear: The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that help support the shoulder joint. If these muscles become damaged due to injury or overuse, it can cause pain, weakness, and loss of motion.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or loss of motion, it is important to visit an experienced physical therapist at the NC Center for PT to accurately diagnose the cause of your symptoms and create an individualized treatment plan that works best for you.

Treatment options

When it comes to treating pain and loss of motion in the right shoulder, there are a number of different options. It’s important to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and the best treatment plan will depend on the specific cause of the problem. Depending on the cause, treatment options can range from rest and at-home remedies to physical therapy (PT) and surgery.

Rest and At-Home Remedies: If the shoulder pain and loss of motion is mild, the first step in treatment should be rest and at-home remedies. This might include icing the shoulder, taking over-the-counter pain medications, and avoiding activities that aggravate the shoulder. If the pain persists or worsens, then further medical treatment may be necessary.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can be an effective way to treat shoulder pain and loss of motion. The focus of PT is to restore strength, flexibility, and mobility to the shoulder joint. At the NC Center for PT, our experienced physical therapists work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your rehabilitation goals.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair any structural damage in the shoulder joint. Surgery may be recommended if conservative treatments like rest, physical therapy, and medications fail to improve symptoms.


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