6 benefits of physical therapy for shoulder pain

physical therapy for shoulder pain

Experiencing shoulder pain? When you have persistent shoulder pain, the discomfort can become challenging to manage. Simple activities like reaching for a high shelf or tossing a ball may feel a lot more difficult than usual. If your pain is often intense, it can also keep you mentally distracted and affect your enjoyment of everything you do. Fortunately, there are plenty of techniques out there designed to relieve shoulder pain. The best treatments for you will depend in part on the underlying cause of your pain.

Shoulder pain can arise from a variety of conditions. If you have recently experienced a sports injury, for example, you may experience persistent shoulder pain until it heals. Though sports injuries are typically sudden, other causes can occur more gradually. Chronic pain is often the result of gradually worsening issues such as arthritis. While the exact treatments will vary based on your condition, physical therapy can be a great solution for shoulder pain. Learning about the benefits of this versatile treatment approach can illustrate why it is an excellent option.

Top physical therapy for shoulder pain benefits


  • Pain relief — If you are dealing with persistent shoulder pain, finding relief is probably among your top priorities. Fully addressing the underlying condition may take time, sometimes weeks or months. Keeping your pain level managed in the meantime is important. Physical therapy incorporates a range of focused exercises and other treatment techniques. These provide plenty of options for treating shoulder pain. By providing relief, physical therapy can make your daily life more comfortable as you work toward long-term recovery.

  • Improved mobility — Shoulder pain often comes with other symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of shoulder conditions is stiffness. If your shoulder’s range of motion is limited, it can restrict the functionality of your whole arm. Physical therapy can help by improving your mobility. Targeted stretches and other exercises are designed to improve flexibility at the shoulder. For some conditions, improving shoulder flexibility can also reduce your pain. Building flexibility tends to ease tension. Tension is often the underlying source of shoulder discomfort. By addressing the tension, you can experience a significant pain reduction.

  • Surgery alternative — Trying to recover from a shoulder injury? Physical therapy can be a great alternative to surgery. While they are sometimes necessary, shoulder surgeries can be invasive. Surgery can also lead to extensive rehab afterward. If you have already had an operation, you can receive post-surgical PT rehab to help you make a swift and total recovery. If your condition does not need surgery, physical therapy can be a great treatment option. Physical therapy for shoulder pain can deliver excellent results as an effective, noninvasive approach to healing.

  • Muscle strengthening — A well-rounded physical therapy treatment plan will typically include strengthening techniques. By building strength in your shoulder muscles, you can improve support for your tendons, ligaments and other tissue. Strong muscles are also less likely to sustain new injuries and strains. To strengthen shoulder muscles, physical therapists tend to recommend exercises that engage your rotator cuff. When working out your shoulders, it is important to avoid putting too much stress on potentially vulnerable muscles. Gentle physical therapy exercises can help you find a good, healthy balance.

  • Personalized treatment — A major benefit of physical therapy is its individualized nature. Your physical therapist will work with you one-on-one to develop a treatment plan and carry it out. If you have special preferences or constraints, your physical therapist can help incorporate these into your plan. When it comes to finding a solution for shoulder pain, it is important to understand that every person is different. Physical therapy is a highly versatile approach because it can adapt to each patient’s unique needs. With personalized, holistic treatment, you can work toward recovery on your own terms.

  • Long-term recovery — Not all pain relief methods are equally effective. While methods such as pain medication can offer a temporary reprieve, these short-term solutions do not help address the underlying issue. With physical therapy, you can treat your pain at the source. Your physical therapist can help diagnose and address the condition causing your pain. By addressing the underlying cause, physical therapy for shoulder pain can deliver relief that lasts.

Whatcom Physical Therapy offers reliable treatments for shoulder pain

Looking for an innovative solution to your shoulder pain? You can find expert care tailored to your needs at Whatcom Physical Therapy. Our team is committed to listening and helping each patient receive the care they need. Whether your shoulder pain is caused by an injury or a chronic health condition, we can help you take the next step toward finding relief.

Call us or request an appointment today to learn more about physical therapy for shoulder pain.