All Posts Tagged: shoulder pain

What You Need to Know About Shoulder Pain

Though most of us take our shoulders for granted, they’re important parts of our bodies. From typing at our computer and driving to putting away groceries and going to bed at night, our shoulders are used for many daily tasks. However, they’re complex organic structures that can be subject to damage and pain. If a shoulder does begin to hurt, it can be difficult to think about anything else.

If you’re experiencing persistent pain in one of your shoulders, there are a number of potential causes, including bursitis, tendonitis, osteoarthritis, and a whole slew of dysfunctional diseases. But perhaps the most common reason people seek treatment for their shoulder is for rotator cuff tears, a problem that afflicts nearly 2 million Americans each year.

Your shoulder is composed of three bones linked together in a ball-andsocket joint, with everything supported by a collection of four muscles called the rotator cuff. The whole setup is remarkably complex, working perfectly — until it doesn’t. If any of the rotator cuff tendons become torn or frayed, the rotator cuff can no longer attach completely to the bones, leading to all kinds of dysfunction and severe, debilitating pain.

These tears usually occur from falling down on your outstretched arm, lifting something too heavy, or a gradual deterioration of the muscles. Symptoms almost always include severe pain, even when resting or sleeping, that spikes when lifting or lowering the arm. Some serious cases may cause general muscle weakness and an inability to lift the arm at all.

Luckily, if you have a rotator cuff injury, you don’t have to tolerate chronic pain. While some intense cases will require surgery to correct, it’s important to consult a physical therapist before going under the knife. Contact the experts at New Jersey Institute of Balance today and take the first step toward eliminating shoulder pain for good

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The Domino Effect of Neck Pain

Cervical and Shoulder Pain CaNeck Painn Cause Other Problems

One of the most common problems we treat at the New Jersey Institute of Balance is cervical pain, coupled with shoulder pain.

Poor posture, combined with a 9-to-5 desk job, leads to a breakdown in body structure. The head starts to lean forward, the shoulders become rounded, and the problem only gets worse. Pain will radiate from nerves in the displaced cervical disc, spreading into the rest of the neck, often moving all the way out into the shoulders and the upper back. If cervical problems are not
addressed early enough, it’s almost certain to lead to other problems, including permanent posture changes.

To see how poor posture can lead to other problems, try these two exercises:

  1. Sit in a chair, with your shoulder blades pulled back and down. Make sure your lower back is slightly arched and your eyes are looking forward and level. In this pose, raise your arms as high as you can, typically close to 160 degrees or even vertical.
  2. Now, sit with poor posture. Slouch your lower back and round your shoulders forward. Let your chin and eyes drop forward. In this pose, try to raise your arms overhead. Most people will
    experience at least a 60 degree decrease in range of motion when compared to the same exercise with good posture.

Poor posture is more than a nuisance. It can cause a domino effect of health issues throughout your body. Don’t let cervical pain or shoulder pain hinder your posture, leading to a long list of health issues.

Contact New Jersey Institute of Balance and schedule a free consultation today!

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Successful Treatments for Cervical and Shoulder Pain

Cervical and Shoulder PainPhysical Therapy Offers Relief

A common problem treated in Physical Therapy clinics is cervical pain combined with shoulder pain.  The patient may experience radiculopathy into either upper extremity, or pain radiating proximally into the suboccipital region or distally into the spine.  As with all effective treatment, addressing the cause of the problem leads to fast, effective relief for our patients.

A primary cause of cervical and shoulder pain is poor posture.  Many patients we treat work at a desk or computer terminal for eight or more hours a day, or 2,000 hours per year.  With time his or her posture will break down resulting in a forward head, rounded shoulders, and increased thoracic kyphosis.  If this process is not addressed, the patient may eventually experience degenerative cervical changes, cervical apophyseal disease, tightening of the anterior cervical musculature, rhomboid and upper trapezius muscle spasms and other permanent postural changes.

Poor Posture Causes Other Problems

Poor postural habits change the angle of the resting scapula on the thoracic cage.  This leads to impingement of the rotator cuff muscles (especially the supraspinatus) with shoulder elevation.

Try this yourself:

  1. Sit with good posture.  Shoulder blades are pulled back and down.  Low back is slightly arched into lordosis.  Eyes are looking forward and level.  Chin is up.  Raise your arms as high as you can.  This typically is close to 160 degrees or near vertical.
  2. Now sit with poor posture typical of patients we see in our treatment or exam rooms.  Slouch your low back.  Round your shoulders forward.  Let your chin and eyes drop forward.  Now try and raise your arms overhead.  Most people will experience a 60 degree decrease in range of motion or more.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is the peripheral entrapment of the brachial plexus producing symptoms often mistake for shoulder tendonitis, elbow tendonitis, nerve root pain or musculoskeletal pain of the neck and shoulder.

The Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery (1995:4: 113-117) and JAMA (2004;196: 109-111) reported Thoracic Outlet Syndrome is suspected in cases of a patient history involving upper extremity heaviness or numbness with prolonged postures such as sitting and when laying on the involved side.

If you experience these symptoms, contact New Jersey Institute of Balance to make an appointment.


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