Shoulder Pain

Understanding and Addressing Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain, a common ailment that can range from a minor discomfort to a debilitating condition, affects people of all ages and backgrounds. The shoulder joint’s complexity and wide range of motion make it vulnerable to various injuries and conditions. Whether you’re experiencing acute or chronic shoulder pain, understanding the potential causes, prevention strategies, and treatment options is key to finding relief and restoring optimal shoulder function. In this blog, we’ll delve into the world of shoulder pain, shedding light on its causes, how to prevent it, and steps you can take to address it effectively.

Causes of Shoulder Pain:

Rotator Cuff Injuries: Tears, strains, or inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles can lead to shoulder pain and limited mobility.

Frozen Shoulder: Also known as adhesive capsulitis, this condition causes stiffness and restricted movement in the shoulder joint.

Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendons that surround the shoulder joint can result in pain and discomfort.

Bursitis: Inflammation of the bursa sacs, which provide cushioning in the shoulder joint, can lead to pain and swelling.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can cause degeneration and inflammation of the shoulder joint, resulting in pain.

Prevention and Management:

Maintain Proper Posture: Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain. Practice good posture while sitting, standing, and working.

Regular Exercise: Engage in exercises that strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joint, promoting stability and preventing injuries.

Stretching and Flexibility: Incorporate stretching exercises to maintain flexibility and range of motion in the shoulder.

Proper Lifting Technique: Lift heavy objects with proper body mechanics to avoid straining the shoulder muscles.

Avoid Overuse: Give your shoulders adequate rest between repetitive activities that involve overhead motion.

Seeking Professional Help:

If you’re experiencing persistent or severe shoulder pain, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional. They can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options, which may include physical therapy, medications, injections, or, in some cases, surgery.

Shoulder pain can be a significant obstacle, affecting your daily activities and overall quality of life. At Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, located in Union, NJ, our team of experienced healthcare professionals is dedicated to helping you find relief from shoulder pain and regaining optimal shoulder function.

If you’re dealing with shoulder pain, contact us at 201-563-8418 to schedule an appointment and embark on your journey to a pain-free and active lifestyle. Let us be your partners in addressing shoulder pain and achieving lasting comfort and well-being. Your path to shoulder health starts here at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy.

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Signs of a Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis

Have you noticed stiffness or discomfort gradually worsening in your shoulder? If so, you may have adhesive capsulitis or “frozen shoulder.” Fortunately, those who manage these joint and muscle pains can find relief through physical therapy. 

Avoid waiting to find solutions for sharp pains and soreness in your upper arms. Medical experts at Progressive Edge Physical Therapy offer great solutions to resolve your frozen shoulder.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a joint condition that worsens over time. This condition typically affects adults between the ages of 40 and 60. Diabetes, stroke, and injury recovery create a higher risk of developing a frozen shoulder.

This problem can become severe over three to five years. Thick bands of tissue around the shoulder socket develop, limiting movement. The symptoms of frozen shoulder include:

  • Muscle soreness in the upper arm
  • Inability to raise or rotate shoulders
  • Pain around the joint
  • Weakness in arm muscles

If you struggle with a frozen shoulder, seek help immediately. This condition could take months to resolve, even with the proper treatment.

Health Risks

A frozen shoulder can significantly reduce your ability to complete day-to-day tasks. For those over 50, this may lead to a dependency on others. 

Avoiding treatment will cause your stiffness to get in the way of life, causing posture problems or physical weakness.

New pains can also develop when you neglect treatment. Poor mobility puts you at risk for subsequent muscle and joint injuries. 

Waiting too long to treat a frozen shoulder will increase the need for more extensive treatment. Your body will become less responsive to specific solutions as you age, so don’t wait.

How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical therapy is the ideal solution for treating your frozen shoulder. A physical therapist will conduct a series of tests to determine the severity of your condition. Such experts use several scientifically proven plans to restore mobility.

You can find pain relief through a simple exercise routine in the hands of a capable therapist. These appointments provide safe and effective solutions under a medical team’s supervision.

Treatment may last several weeks or months, depending on the individual. Despite this, most patients will generally observe improvement throughout therapy. Medical experts refer to this as the “thawing stage” of frozen shoulder recovery.

Therapists will offer numerous prevention plans to educate patients. These methods help you avoid the condition in the future.

Many clinicians have experience with sports medicine. Spinal cord injury, joint pain, and muscle soreness are typical in athletes. Conditions like these may require similar physical therapy to frozen shoulder recovery.

Choosing the Right Facility To Treat Frozen Shoulder

How do you know which physical therapy facility to choose? 

Finding a reliable physical therapist can take some time and research. Most credible facilities offer transparent services and online resources, allowing you to review your options before committing to treatment.

Individuals trust therapists who offer personalized treatments for their injuries. Always pick a physical therapist who is willing to review your medical history. This practice promotes quality care for those who may manage other injuries or diseases.

Because comfort and stress relief are essential factors in the healing process, it’s best to partner with a medical team offering a safe and welcoming environment. Many physical therapy facilities provide other amenities to enhance your treatment experience. 

Find Pain Relief Through Therapy Today

Are you ready to restore mobility and find pain relief today? Reach out to Progressive Edge Physical Therapy and book an appointment.

Our veteran staff will identify and treat your condition through safe and ethical practices. We communicate crucial information during each therapy session so you can track progress. Our team doesn’t believe in cookie-cutter solutions, so we prioritize individualized care.

At Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, we provide clean and comfortable amenities to improve your treatment experience. Enjoy several options when working with us to reinforce your strength and mobility. 

Scheduling with us is quick and easy. Let us know how we can help, and our friendly staff will respond quickly. Our therapy sessions are flexible, making us ideal for anyone who manages a busy schedule.

Don’t wait to get the pain relief you need. Book a physical therapy appointment with Progressive Edge Physical Therapy today. Speak to a representative by dialing 201-563-8418

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Gardening – Managing Neck/Back/Shoulder Pain

Gardening is a rewarding hobby and a passion, but it has its costs. Don’t let pain prevent you from continuing to enjoy your hobbies. Physical therapy, a consistent exercise routine, and a plan for moderate gardening can help you to garden safely and avoid long-term complications like arthritis.

How Gardening Affects Your Body

Gardening involves many repetitive activities such as bending, kneeling, digging, reaching, and carrying plants and soil. Bending can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain, and kneeling for long periods can cause knee pain.

As you age, you might lose the ability to perform repetitive activities for long periods of time. While gardening is good exercise, overuse of muscles and stress on joints can lead to pain, stiffness, and long-term injury if gardeners do not keep in good physical shape and make sure to garden in a healthy way.

Pain From Gardening

If you experience pain after gardening, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other over-the-counter pain relievers could help with gardening pain temporarily. However, these drugs may lose their effectiveness over time and cause side effects such as stomach upset. 

Rather than depending on pain relievers, consider your overall physical fitness plan and the way you garden to help your body heal and protect your joints and muscles from future damage. 

Tips for Managing Pain

Take Breaks When You Garden

In many cases, the pain gets worse when you overwork muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Since many gardening tasks require you to do the same activity repeatedly, stopping for a few minutes during a task can give your body time to recover. 

Muscles can become sore if they do not receive enough oxygen. Slowing down and breathing deeply can help your muscles recharge.

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can make you susceptible to the effects of heat and can cause muscle pain and cramping. Bring plenty of water with you when you garden, and keep track of how much you drink while you are out there. When possible, work in the shade to minimize water loss through sweating.

Use Ice

If you have sore muscles, rest them and press an ice pack against them to reduce swelling. Icing your muscles for twenty minutes or so will make them feel better and give you a chance to recuperate.

Try a TENS Unit

A Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator (TENS) unit relieves pain in sore muscles by making them contract. This promotes natural healing processes and reduces pain. Physical therapists often use TENS units for pain relief after therapy, and you can buy a home unit for personal use.

Physical Therapy

For more serious pain that does not respond to at-home therapies, physical therapy restores range of motion and helps muscles heal. Physical therapy exercises can target strains, tension, and repetitive motion injuries that result from gardening.

Tips for Avoiding Pain

Stretch Before You Garden

Following a stretching routine before you garden is one way to make your muscles more resilient and reduce the risk of injury. In physical therapy, your therapist might recommend specific stretches.

Vary Your Garden Routine

If you have many tasks to perform during each gardening session, switch from one to another frequently. Different gardening activities often rely on different muscles and muscle groups, so switching gives your muscles time to recover.

Exercise 

Regular cardiovascular exercise strengthens your muscles and provides support for your joints. Strong core muscles help you maintain good posture while you are gardening and reduce stress on your back, hips, and legs.

Stretch When You Finish Gardening

Take a few minutes to cool down with some light stretches after you finish gardening. Stretching helps make your muscles and joints more flexible and less prone to injury.

Check Your Food Intake

Your muscles need protein and complex carbohydrates to develop. Your bones and nervous system need calcium. Some foods promote pain and inflammation, while others reduce it. Proper nutrition equips your body to handle the challenges of gardening. 

Overcoming Pain With Physical Therapy from Progressive Edge Physical Therapy

It is natural to experience more aches and pains as you get older, but that does not mean that pain is unavoidable. With the right combination of the best physical therapy from Progressive Edge Physical Therapy, food intake, and exercise, you can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle, including gardening and other outdoor hobbies.If you have gardening pain that does not go away or is severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, call Progressive Edge Physical Therapy at 201-563-8418 to schedule your physical therapy session today!

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The Importance of Core Strength

What do you think about when I say the following: “Core Strength”? It’s natural to think of your core as just your abdominal muscles – surfer ‘6 packs’ and ‘washboard abs’. It’s natural to want that, too! But, what if I told you that core strength is something entirely different? What if it isn’t about having the perfect beach body or wearing a bikini like a model? What if core strength is about being strong… not so that you can pick up boulders, but so that you can stay mobile for longer? That’s exactly what this post is all about: we’re giving you the low down on what core strength is, why it’s important, and how you can achieve it. Stay tuned – here we go!

The truth is, core strength involves more than just your abdominals. In actual fact, it’s the ability of all the muscles in your mid-body to remain supple, strong, and flexible under stress and pressure. Yes, your abdominal muscles are involved, here, but so are your pelvic floor muscles, oblique muscles, and pectorals. Overall, your trunk houses a multitude of muscles, each of which plays a major role in feeding into ‘core strength’.

The medical profession mentions core strength fairly often, and if you’ve been struggling with back problems, in particular, my hope is that you’ve at least heard of it by now! Core strength – the strength and endurance of your trunk muscles – plays a vital part in upper back, lower back, and even leg and shoulder health. Without core strength, these major nerve centers lose structure, stability, and ultimately, mobility. More on that later, though.

When it comes to core strength, the important thing to know is that you ought to keep it up – even if you feel in good health and aren’t currently experiencing pain, it’s in your best interest to maintain that pain-free lifestyle by strengthening this group of muscles. It may actually surprise you quite how much having core strength benefits you. Just take a look at some of the activities core strength can either hinder or improve: sitting, standing, sleeping, working out, running, walking, playing golf, cycling, swimming, picking up your grandkids, driving a car… the list is practically endless! The bottom line? Core strength matters!

The other side of the coin in, of course, that a lack of core strength can result in injury and chronic pain. If you’ve read some of our other blogs, you’ll know by now that muscle function is interconnected – they aren’t independent of one another. Each muscle has an affect on the next – if one fails, the other will overcompensate and, in turn, will fail itself. A dramatic, sometimes life-changing knock-on effect can ensue. It’s no different when it comes to core muscles. If you fail to strengthen them, they’ll affect the other muscles in your body. In this instance, you’re likely to suffer from a variety of issues including, though by no means limited to, headaches, spasms, back pain, abdominal pain, pelvic pain, sciatica, and even foot and knee pain! It’s a bit of an eye-opener, isn’t it?

Luckily, core strength is attainable – and no, I don’t mean you need to eat raw eggs and spend a daily six hours in the gym! Simple, consistent routines and exercises can go a long way in helping you gain – and maintain – your core strength… and thereby, health. Here are a couple of examples you can try right after reading this post!

Planks

  1. Lie belly down on a yoga mat or floor.
  2. Place your hands by your side – at shoulder level – and lift your torso up.
  3. Make sure your legs remain straight.
  4. Lift your body off of the ground until your arms are just slightly bent.
  5. Remain in this position for 30 seconds at a time.
  6. Do not let your pelvis drop to the floor – try to remain as ‘straight as a plank’ from your shoulders through to your heels.

Side Planks

  1. As with the plank routine, lie down on your belly.
  2. Turn over onto your side, making sure your heels remain together.
  3. Lift one arm straight up, in line with your shoulder.
  4. Push yourself away from the floor with your other arm.
  5. Make sure your supporting arm remains slightly bent.
  6. Create an unbroken line from outstretched fingertip to supporting hand. 
  7. Lengthen your entire body and make sure it’s straight across – from your shoulders to your heels.
  8. Do not let your hip drop down to the mat.
  9. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at a time.

Bridge Pose

  1. Lie down on a mat, with your back touching the floor.
  2. Make sure your legs are stretched out and your arms are at your side, palms facing down.
  3. Place your feet squarely on the ground, now, and bend your knees.
  4. Without lifting your shoulders or elbows from the floor, slowly lift up your pelvis until you form a straight line from your shoulder to your knees.
  5. Your knees should be bent at around 90 degrees.
  6. Hold this pose for 30 seconds at a time.
  7. Do not lift your hands from the floor, and make sure your arms do not leave the ground at any point. 

Yoga/Pilates

A good way of strengthening your core strength is by doing regular Yoga and/or Pilates. The routines in each form of exercise lend themselves well to overall strength as they vary in focus, yet they are particularly effective when it comes to core strength. Why not try a local class for some inspiration and motivation?

Those suggestions aren’t that hard, are they? None of that body-builder stuff is needed! Fitness is essential in maintaining health, and keeping up your core strength is a massive part of that. If you’re stuck, though, and you’re not quite sure where to start with building up your core muscles, why not contact one of our professional, hands on physical therapists? Not only will physical therapy help you build up your core strength, but it will give you the tools to maintain that strength on your own! How? Well, you’ll get tailor made exercise and stretches! Whether you’re currently suffering from back pain or any other ailment and just want to regain a pain-free, healthy lifestyle, or even if you just want to get started on building up your core strength in order to avoid injury in the future, physical therapy can help. 

Now is a great time to start building your core strength – no matter how old you are, what injury you may be suffering from, or how fit/unfit you think you are… core strength is for everyone! Contact us today for more tips, support, and advice!

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