Shoulder

Acromioclavicular Joint Sprain (AC Joint)

The AC joint is where the clavicle (collarbone) becomes separated from the acromion (shoulder blade). Ligaments attaching these two bones can stretch or tear, causing a sprain. An AC joint sprain can cause mild to severe shoulder pain with lying on your side, reaching across the body, lifting, pushing, pulling, or reaching overhead. 

Goal: restore shoulder ROM, decrease STRs, improve postural awareness, increase shoulder girdle stabilization.

Frozen Shoulder

The shoulder joint is made of bones, tendons, and ligaments that are encapsulated by connective tissue. When this capsule thickens it can cause pain and restrict the range of motion (ROM). There is no known cause but it is more common after having shoulder immobilized after surgery or fracture, and occurs more often in people over 40--typically women. People with diabetes are at increased risk for developing frozen shoulder. Symptoms include initial pain and stiffness, then loss of motion. 

 

Goal: Regain full shoulder ROM, decrease STRs throughout shoulder musculature, increase strength equal to the opposite shoulder, and improve postural awareness.

Rotator Cuff Tear

The rotator cuff muscles attach to the shoulder blade (scapula) and upper arm bone (humerus) and the tendons travel under a bone (acromion process) of the scapula. Most tears occur in the supraspinatus tendon which gets impinged under the acromion process, however, tears can happen in other tendons as well. Tears can begin as fraying in the tendon and eventually lead to a tear, or as an injury to the tendon from a fall on an outstretched arm. Symptoms include a dull ache deep in the shoulder, disturbed sleep, difficulty sleeping on the affected side, and arm weakness. Most people with tears have difficulty combing/washing hair (reaching overhead) or reaching behind back to clasp bra or put on a belt. 

 

Goal: increase ROM, decrease STRs in global shoulder, increase shoulder joint stabilization with postural corrections.

Biceps Tendinitis

The biceps tendon is one of two thick cords connecting the bicep muscle to the shoulder joint. Biceps Tendonitis is caused by inflammation and irritation of the long head of the biceps usually caused by repetitive overhead or reaching motions. Symptoms include dull ache when lifting or reaching your arm, tenderness at the point of the tendon, and mild swelling surrounding biceps tendon. Other symptoms include possible snapping of the tendon during movement. 

 

Goal: decrease inflammation of tendon and increase soft tissue mobility, restore ROM, improve postural awareness, improve RTC strength and shoulder joint stability.

Impingement Syndrome

The rotator cuff muscles attach to the shoulder blade (scapula) and upper arm bone (humerus) and the tendons travel under a bone (acromion process) of the scapula. When the arm is reaching above 90 degrees, this space decreases and can impinge the rotator cuff tendon (supraspinatus) or bursa. Typically there is difficulty reaching behind the back. IE, to clasp bra, put on a jacket. Normal symptoms include pain reaching overhead and weakness maintaining arm above shoulder height. Posture can worsen impingement symptoms. 

Goal: decrease inflammation, restore ROM, increase RTC strength and shoulder joint stability, and improve postural awareness.

Bursitis or Tendinitis of the Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff muscles attach to the shoulder blade (scapula) and upper arm bone (humerus) and the tendons travel under a bone (acromion process) of the scapula. The subacromial bursa is the most commonly inflamed bursa and most commonly associated with impingement between the rotator cuff tendon and bursa beneath the bone (acromion). Symptoms include dull ache when moving affected limb, tenderness at the point of the tendon, and mild swelling surrounding shoulder/tendon. 


Goal: decrease inflammation, restore ROM, increase RTC strength and shoulder joint stability.

Osteoarthritis (OA)

Shoulder OA is a degenerative joint disease where cartilage in the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint breaks down, and bony growths or spurs develop in the joint. Symptoms include pain during or after movement, tenderness when pressure is applied to joint, stiffness in the morning or after a prolonged period of inactivity, and decreased ROMin all directions. Significant OA can cause joint crepitus--a grating sensation you may hear or feel with joint movement. 

 

Goal: Maintain or increase ROM, increase shoulder joint stabilization and RTC strength, and improve postural awareness.

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