Can Physical Therapy be Used for Treating Shoulder Pain?

Whether you're an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, you might have struggled with a niggle in your shoulder. A shoulder injury could happen due to various reasons, and it can affect your daily life. Although there are plenty of treatments available for shoulder pain, this article will focus on physical therapy.

The question is whether physical therapy can be used to treat shoulder pain or not. And a straightforward answer is "YES." Physical therapy is a popular treatment for shoulder pain relief with exercise, hands-on therapies, and devices. Physical therapy has some excellent advantages over any other treatment, which we'll discuss in this article.

Common Types Of Shoulder Pain

1. Osteoarthritis

One of the common causes of shoulder pain is osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that can affect the joints. It commonly affects the joints like the knee or hip, which undergo immense pressure. However, it can also affect the shoulder or spine. 

According to a survey, around 27 million Americans are struggling from some form of OA. The factors causing osteoarthritis are:

  • Age: The aging of cartilage can cause degeneration which results in OA with age. 
  • Genetics: There are cases of degenerative issues due to genetics
  • Injury: If your joint gets injured, there are chances of osteoarthritis that can damage the bone.
  • Obesity: For every 1 Kg of weight gain, the body has to bear five times more pressure; thus, obesity is one of the reasons for OA. 

How Can A Physical Therapist Fix It?

For shoulder pain relief, physical therapy is an excellent option. Physical therapy can help you recover fast without using medication or drugs. The physical therapist starts the proceedings by a thorough evaluation and then:

  • Observing range of motion
  • A customized therapy program
  • Use several physical therapy methods like hot/cold application etc.
  • Works on injury prevention
  • A set of exercises that focuses on strength, mobility, and flexibility
  • Alters your lifestyle for better results

2. Frozen Shoulder

The stiffness on the shoulder is called the frozen shoulder. The condition can affect women and people of age more than 45. 

Frozen shoulders can result in pain and loss of motion. It can happen due to an injury or is an aftereffect of surgery. 

How Can an Expert Physical Therapist help?

The primary goal of the therapist is to restore movement and counter inflammation. Similar to OA, the first step is a thorough evaluation. After the assessment, the therapist will create a session program to counter stiffness or discomfort. 

  • The therapist will educate you about your condition and teach you the right way to use the affected shoulder. 
  • The therapist will perform a mix of stretching and strengthening exercises for fast recovery.
  • Your therapist can use manual therapy methods to ease pain, increase range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury. 


3. Rotator Cuff Tear

The group of 4 muscles together make the "rotator cuff." Overuse and excessive pressure can put the rotator cuff in a vulnerable position. With age, tearing in the rotator cuff is a common sight. It can affect the range of motion along with severe pain.

How can physical therapy help you get relief?

There are mainly two types of rotator cuff tears - acute and chronic. Both the conditions require a different approach from the therapist. Once the tear is diagnosed, the therapist can take the following steps:

  • The first goal is to restore the motion of the arm and reduce pain. The therapist will work on your range of motion and strength. The therapist will modify your regular tasks so that it puts the slightest pressure on the shoulder. 
  • In case of surgery, the therapist can help you with the rehabilitation process.

4. Rotator Cuff Tendinitis

Older adults might be facing shoulder pain due to problems in the shoulder tissues. Rotator cuff tendinitis can affect the motion of the arm, overhead motions and can weaken the muscles in the shoulder and nearby region. 

How to get relief? 

The first and foremost thing is "pain management" because pain can make the recovery process a bit hectic. Your therapist will treat the pain by several methods.

Different types of manual therapies can help you to get back to normal.

Benefits of Physical Therapy

There are plenty of benefits of physical therapy for shoulder pain relief in Perth Amboy, NJ.


The stretching is like a warmup for the shoulder, and it'll loosen the stiffness.

Pain Reduction

Reducing pain is crucial to making the process easy. The therapist has several methods to tackle pain.

Injury Prevention

When the shoulder is in pain, it's prone to get injured. Preventing unnecessary injuries is essential during the recovery phase.


The muscle gets weak with time; thus, strengthening exercise can do wonders. 


The Low-intensity workout is best for older adults or people with cardiovascular issues. 


The shoulder is an important joint that contributes to almost every activity. Thus, discomfort or pain in the shoulder can affect the productivity of an individual. You can go for a physical therapy session to avoid any mishap.

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