July 19, 2019

Shoulder Pain Is Affecting Americans Greatly

Shoulder pain is the third most common complaint for patients according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Population surveys suggest that 18-26% of Americans complain of shoulder pain at any given time, making it one of the most common regional pain syndromes. Having shoulder pain can severely limit a person’s quality of life, leaving individuals unable to complete simple, fulfilling tasks like putting the dishes away or keeping up with the grand kids.


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Shoulder pain ranks as the third most common musculoskeletal complaint behind knee and spinal disorders.
— American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

Multiple Studies Show Physical Therapy Helps Shoulders Heal


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Seven different studies were analyzed by the The Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy to evaluate how effective manual therapy can be for shoulder patients. Only randomized controlled trials were used in this analysis, but any age range for patients was accepted as long as their condition required a standard for of care by physical therapists. All of the patients were referred to physical therapy for the conservative management of shoulder pain and all interventions were performed by a physical therapist.

There were four different types of rehabilitation used throughout these studies, including mobilization with movement, a Cyriax approach, and static mobilization performed either at end-range or mid-ranges of motion. Of these seven studies, four showed significant improvement for patients and five of the seven included studies demonstrated improvement in either active or passive range of motion.

When it comes to improving shoulder mobility, the evidence suggests that patients receiving manual therapy interventions for shoulder pain will demonstrate improvements in range of motion.

Next Steps For Physical Therapists

Studies show that manual therapy is a crucial and effective treatment for physical therapists working on decreasing their patient’s shoulder pain. However, it is also important they encourage patients to work on shoulder therapy at home. Gentle movements at home with a shoulder pulley will help increase blood flow and joint lubrication, helping patients feel better, faster.

The ultimate goal is to get patients back to living their lives to the fullest, whether that be keeping up with their grand kids or doing every day tasks like gardening or reaching up to put the dishes away.

How To Use A Shoulder Pulley

DISCLAIMER: All content found on myrangemaster.com including: text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

SOURCE: Camarinos, J., & Marinko, L. (2009). Effectiveness of manual physical therapy for painful shoulder conditions: a systematic review. The Journal of manual & manipulative therapy, 17(4), 206–215. doi:10.1179/106698109791352076

Linaker, C. H., & Walker-Bone, K. (2015). Shoulder disorders and occupation. Best practice & research. Clinical rheumatology, 29(3), 405–423. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2015.04.001

LINK TO FULL ARTICLE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2813507/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4836557/

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