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Isn’t it interesting that we don’t realize how much we need our arm and shoulder until we can’t lift a coffee cup from the cupboard, put on a coat, lift a milk jug out of the fridge or sleep without waking with shoulder pain?

In fact, most often, the inability to use the arm and shoulder to do normal every day tasks or play tennis, pickleball or golf, is what drives us to look for help. So, it’s not necessarily the pain that causes you to seek medical help, rather the fact that you can’t do what you need and want to do.

There are several reasons why shoulder pain, which keeps you from your desired activities, occurs. One of the most common reasons is because the rotator cuff muscles and tendons are being pinched or compressed between the top of the shoulder and the bone above it that comes off the scapula.

There are four rotator cuff muscles and they attach to the front and back of the shoulder blade. The rotator cuff muscles have a very important job, which is they keep your shoulder stable, and together with the scapular muscles, they keep your shoulders back and your posture erect. As you age, unless you specifically work to reverse it, your upper back slouches as your shoulders round forward. This closes down the space where the rotator cuff tendons sit, compressing them.

Compression of the rotator cuff tendons and muscles causes inflammation and weakness of the rotator cuff muscles. This results in a loss of stability at the shoulder, which leads to pain in the shoulder when lifting objects out of the fridge or cupboard, putting on your coat, playing golf or tennis or trying to sleep at night without waking due to pain.

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If left untreated, this issue can develop into rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder or more.

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The way to fix this issue is to have a physical therapist work with you, so that they can help you restore the normal motion and strength, as well as restore pre-injury levels of function.

If you would like to get back to living your life the way you did before you started worrying about your shoulder pain or losing sleep, then please do one of the following:

  • Email me at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com, call my office at 717-245-0400 or text 717-514-1058 to request more information, and I will send you my free report, “5 Quick Ways to End Your Shoulder Pain.”
  • Call 717-245-0400 to schedule a one-on-one, free screen with one of our shoulder experts so that they can listen to the issues you are having and tell you how they can best help you.
  • Call 717-245-0400 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our shoulder experts if you prefer to chat on the phone versus face-to-face, so we can listen to the issues you are having and tell you the next best step.
  • Email me at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com if you would rather connect that way first to ask me some questions and chat with me about your shoulder issues, so I can make recommendations about what to do next.

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Steve Miller is the owner of Cardin and Miller Physical Therapy and can be reached by email at smiller@cardinmillerpt.com. His column will appear bi-monthly in the Thrive section of the Sentinel and on Cumberlink.com.

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