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Hands of Hope NY

Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is one of the most complex joints in the body. Because it’s connected to multiple areas in your body that when the shoulder moves they move too. Neck, thoracic “mid back” and your core muscles are activated in different timings and ways when you move your shoulder.

As part of our holistic approach, we work with the shoulder problems as a whole complex not just the identified problem that you have. 

(1) Rotator cuff tear injury

At Hands of Hope NYC, shoulder pain is one of the most common complaints. There are four main muscles that make up the rotator cuff. These muscles work to move your shoulder and help to hold your joint together. They perform external and internal rotation and their primary action is to stabilize the shoulder. 

Common causes for rotator cuff tears include lifting or reaching for a heavy object, falling on your arm and/or using your shoulder in a repetitive overhead motion such as in sports like baseball, tennis, swimming or even in everyday life activities like housework and painting.

Symptoms of rotator cuff tear:

– Weakness in shoulder or arm
– Pain in shoulder and in the arm
– Loss of range of motion in the shoulder, especially with overhead actions
– Tenderness in shoulder joint area

Shoulder pain injuries

After a complete physical examination, your physician might ask for an MRI or arthrogram to get a closer look at the injury and always follow your doctor’s advice but here are some general guidelines:

Treatments for rotator cuff tear

Our shoulder pain physical therapy at Hands of Hope NYC will help retrain your muscles to return to normal functional activities without pain and with full range of motion.

– Ice the shoulder for 15 minutes on, two to three times a day

– Anti-inflammatory pain medication and analgesic cream.

– Avoid intense activity on the shoulder.

– Use kinesio tape to help support the shoulder like the one seen below:

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Hands of Hope NYC

Physical Therapy

for shoulder injuries

(2) Adhesive Capsulitis aka Frozen Shoulder

The shoulder is basically a round capsule of connective tissue that encases the bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder joint. Frozen Shoulder happens more frequently to people with diabetes but is usually caused by people who have immobilized their shoulder for long periods of time due to a shoulder injury,  fracture or surgery, even a stroke or mastectomy. It can happen from overuse of the joint and even from no specific cause. Prevention of this injury can come from working on the shoulder’s range of motion and always stretching before and after strenuous physical activity. 

Symptoms of Frozen Shoulder

As the name suggests, it is a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint itself.  Frozen shoulder develops quite slowly relative to other injuries we usually see at Hands of Hope NYC, and usually happens in three stages lasting anywhere from 1 to 3 years

  • – 1st stage: Freezing stage. Any movement causes pain and the shoulder’s range of motion is very limited as the joint swells up. Inability to move the shoulder in any and all directions
  • – 2nd stage: Frozen stage. Pain slowly begins to subside in this phase but using your shoulder is still tough, in fact it feels stiffer than the first stage and using it becomes more difficult.
  • – 3rd stage: Thawing stage. Range of motion of the shoulder joint begins to improve.

Treatment for Frozen Shoulder

  • – Ice shoulder for 15 – 20 min 
  • – Shoulder rehab program to achieve flexibility , strength and range of motion needed
  • – Anti-inflammatory medicine ( in some cases )
  • – A corticosteroid injection to reduce inflammation ( in some cases )

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In extremely serious cases, if the patient does not respond to the above treatments, surgery can be considered. At Hands of Hope NY we believe in the power of the mind to heal and follow hard work in physiotherapy and natural interventions as much as possible.

However, if no results are achieved, which is not mostly the case, arthroscopic surgery can be done if there is a buildup of scar tissue and the surgeon will then manipulate your shoulder in all directions to break up the scar tissue or any adhesions. The post – op rehab is very critical to regain the strength and stability needed to maintain the range of motion gained through the surgery

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Hands of Hope NYC

Shoulder pain physical therapy NYS

for shoulder injuries

(3) Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Also called painful arc syndrome, swimmer’s shoulder, and thrower’s shoulder; another common shoulder injury is the shoulder impingement syndrome. At Hands of Hope NY we assess the problems that tendonitis (inflammation of tendons) causes in all areas of the body, particularly key joints. Under your shoulder blade, the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder pass through a space called the subacromial space and when one of these four muscles gets tendonitis (Specifically the supraspinatus muscle) it causes weakness, pain and loss of movement in the shoulder.

It’s similar to frozen shoulder but here the pain is said to be dull rather than sharp. Our patients have even described a popping or grinding sensation when moving the shoulder. Range of motion becomes restricted especially during forward elevation of your arm. Weight training exercises when the arms are elevated above shoulder height but in an internally rotated position are a common cause. 

Treatment for shoulder impingement syndrome

  • – Rest
  • – Physical therapy exercises
  • – Modification of your physical activity ( Your physical therapist will tell you how to specifically modify your ADLs and exercises so as not to increase the problem more )


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