Now that the holiday season is here, it’s likely that you’ll have to lift heavy boxes off high shelves in your garage to find decorations. As you begin to use your shoulders more frequently during this time of the year, you may notice pain or weakness each time you reach overhead. Don’t ignore your pain. It’s possible that you’re suffering from shoulder impingement syndrome.
Shoulder impingement syndrome is a condition that develops when the rotator-cuff tendons in the shoulder are overused or injured. The acromion, the bump at the tip of your shoulder, covers your rotator-cuff and bursa, a fluid-filled sac that provides a cushion between the bony acromion and rotator-cuff tendon. When the bursa is compressed, your tendons are no longer protected. If you do not seek treatment quickly, you will be at risk of rotator-cuff tendinitis.
Individuals with shoulder impingement syndrome may experience restriction in shoulder motion and associated weakness when reaching overhead, behind the body, or out to the side. They may also experience pain in the shoulder, pain or discomfort when attempting to sleep on the affected side, or pain with throwing motions and other dynamic movements. Thankfully, physical therapy can be very successful in treating shoulder impingement syndrome. Once you are diagnosed, your physical therapist will create a specialized treatment plan, which may include pain management, manual therapy, rage-of-motion and strengthening exercises, patient education, and functional training.
Your physical or occupational therapist will use manual techniques like gentle joint movements, soft-tissue massage, and shoulder stretches to get your body moving properly. We also offer laser treatments for this syndrome. Once your discomfort has been reduced, your therapist will teach you exercises to correct and strengthen shoulder movements and weak muscles. Finally, your therapist will prescribe you at-home exercises to continue strengthening your shoulder so you can avoid pain and discomfort throughout the year.
As always, call us at Rue and Primavera if you are experiencing shoulder discomfort this season. (360) 279-8323
Rue and Primavera Occupational and Physical Therapy
Whether your job requires you to spend your day cranking out content on a keyboard or you’re a full time parent with a kid on either arm, you don’t realize how much you use your hands and wrists until they start to hurt. Many people deal with upper extremity pain, but a lot of people don’t know that occupational therapy can offer solutions. From carpal tunnel to post-surgery recovery, occupational therapy can help you get back to your daily actives and live a pain-free life.
First of all, what is occupational therapy?
Occupational therapy is a type of therapy that helps people recuperating from illness perform daily tasks that various ailments and conditions might otherwise prohibit them from completing. Basically, occupational therapy helps you perform activities that pain has previously stopped you from doing.
How is it different from physical therapy?
Many people don’t know the difference between occupational therapy and physical therapy. While they are both practices that help people rehabilitate and regain function, the two practices have some core differences. Physical therapists generally work with people to recover from injuries. They are focused on healing the physical injuries, such as damaged tissues or other physical problems. Occupational therapists are focused on helping a person be able to perform their daily tasks despite physical setbacks. Where a physical therapist might help someone be able to bend and straighten their elbow after a broken arm, an occupational therapist might help the same person be able to button their shirt, cook, or complete other tasks while recovering.
What are the benefits of occupational therapy?
Oftentimes, we don’t realize how much we use our hands and wrists until they hurt. When you feel pain when typing on your keyboard, brushing your teeth, or performing other basic functions, it can take a toll on you and your family. The goal of occupational therapy is to get you back to what you want to be doing, and enable people to participate fully in their everyday lives.
How does it work?
Occupational therapy can happen in a number of different ways, but at Rue and Primavera we typically offer 45 minute sessions in our large, open occupational therapy space. Sessions can also be done in private, but many patients enjoy this open, relaxed environment. We have three occupational therapists whose with expertise treating upper extremities on our staff. Our goal is to understand your condition and work to increase your mobility and decrease pain.
What sort of hand and wrist injuries can occupational therapy help you recover from?
Occupational therapy can help people recover from a variety of hand and wrist injuries.Common ailments include carpal tunnel, ganglion cysts, sprains, fractures, dislocations, tennis elbow, recovering from surgery, and others.
If you have upper extremity pain or are recovering from hand or wrist surgery, occupational therapy may be able to help. Our therapists would love to help you thrive in your daily life so contact us today!