SHOULDER PAIN

Treatment serving the Durham, NC area

Shoulder pain is a common complaint and is said to affect nearly 70% of people at some point during their lifetime. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain the root problem can stem from a variety of conditions. Our experienced physical therapy in Durham, NC, is highly trained in locating the root problem and providing conservative treatment to fix the underlying problems naturally.

Healing Shoulder Pain Conservatively

Many of our clients will be diagnosed with degenerative changes that are said to be the cause of shoulder pain. However, with the correct diagnosis and a treatment approach that matches the underlying problems causing pain, surgery can be avoided for nearly all shoulder problems. 

Over the years we have learned that most people with shoulder pain will be limited in these movements:

  • Neck Extension (looking up)
  • Neck Rotation Towards the Symptomatic Shoulder
  • Shoulder Flexion
  • Shoulder Extension
  • Shoulder Internal Rotation
  • Trunk Rotation Towards the Symptomatic Shoulder

While we don’t expect you to know what each of these movements is, the point we want to make is that shoulder pain is rarely just a “shoulder problem”. Performing a detailed movement assessment at the neck, shoulder, mid-spine, elbow, forearm, and wrist must be performed for all shoulder pain symptoms.

Conditions we treat

Treatment options

All of our treatment options are conservative. We use a variety of techniques that are designed to address the pain and fix the root problem. Some of these techniques include; myofascial release, dry needling, Mckenzie Method, IASTM, SFMA, and a detailed understanding of pain science which we believe is critically undervalued in traditional healthcare.


Contact Kaizen Physical Therapy today to learn more about the shoulder pain treatment options we offer to patients in the Durham, NC, area.

  • Do I need an X-ray or MRI to know what's causing my shoulder pain?
  • What stretches are best for shoulder pain?
  • What causes shoulder pain?
  • What is the best doctor to see for shoulder pain?
  • How to know if shoulder pain is muscular?
Do I need an X-ray or MRI to know what's causing my shoulder pain?

Not usually.


You may require an X-ray or MRI if there was a traumatic injury that caused your shoulder pain. For example, a sports collision, car accident, or a fall. An X-ray or MRI will be useful in this case to rule out a fracture, tear, or other condition that requires immediate medical attention.


You likely don't require an X-ray or MRI if there was no traumatic injury. If your shoulder pain is something that has gradually become worse over time then an X-ray or MRI is rarely necessary.


In fact, plenty of research shows that an X-ray or MRI, in this case, can lead to unnecessary surgical intervention trying to fix something that wasn't the cause of the pain in the first place.


A full-body movement assessment can identify what's causing the shoulder pain if there was no trauma.

What stretches are best for shoulder pain?

Stretching for shoulder pain is typically a short-term pain solution. The muscles feel tight and the immediate assumption is that a tight muscle needs to be stretched.


However, we find that nearly all tight muscles are tight because they are weak (or somewhere nearby is weak).


This occurs because a tighter muscle is a stronger muscle.


Instead of stretching try strengthening. When done correctly, this is the solution nearly everyone needs.

What causes shoulder pain?

Most people who have shoulder pain did not suffer a traumatic injury.


If there was no injury then it's very likely shoulder pain is caused by a combination of stiff and weak joints and muscles.


A full-body movement assessment should be performed to identify the root cause of shoulder pain. Many times the area that hurts is not where the root problem of the pain is occurring.


This movement assessment must include:


  • Cervical spine
  • Mid spine
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Wrist
What is the best doctor to see for shoulder pain?

This really depends on what your idea of a solution looks like. 


If you want to avoid surgery, pain meds, and cortisone injections then a physical therapist should be your first option.

How to know if shoulder pain is muscular?

Shoulder pain is generally muscular if there are some movements that are painful and others that aren't. 


For example, if reaching overhead hurts but reaching in front doesn't. This is a sign that your shoulder pain is likely muscular in nature. 


Muscular pain is also typically felt as a 'dull ache' unless you perform a sudden movement that is an irritant (then it can be a sharp pain).

Wondering if our physical therapy clinic is the right approach for your problem?

Medical Disclaimer:

All information on this website is intended for instruction and informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.