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How can the rotator cuff help my shoulder pain

2/3/17 11:24 AM

Gym Injuries can happen any time during your training process and it is important to understand the difference between a “good pain” and a “bad pain."  At Onondaga Physical Therapy we offer Free Injury Screens for a quick diagnosis of your issue, and help you on the road to recovery.

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Written by Taryn Bader.

Taryn Bader, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Onondaga Hill location.

Topics: shoulder, injury

Arthritis of the Shoulder: Top 3 Facts about the Reverse TSA

2/23/15 11:03 AM
While most people associate arthritis with weight bearing joints such as the hips and knees, people often don’t realize the effects of shoulder arthritis. While shoulder arthritis may be less common, it can be just as debilitating. Here are some common signs and symptoms of shoulder arthritis:
  • Pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Popping in the joint or joint noises with movements
  • Muscle weakness due to pain and disuse of the arm
  • Generalized stiffness

Treatment Options:
  • Physical Therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs
  • Steroid injections to help reduce pain
  • Surgery

How exactly can Physical Therapy help?
  • Increase range of motion and decrease stiffness
  • Increase muscle strength as the muscles around the shoulder may be weak from disuse due to pain
  • Joint mobilizations to help decrease pain and improve motion
  • The primary goal of physical therapy will be to help decrease your pain and regain function


Surgeons are now able to perform what is called a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement, or Reverse TSA? This procedure is exactly what it sounds like. The anatomy of the shoulder is essentially reversed... Can't picture it? Check out the photo below...

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Written by Jeffrey Romans.

Jeff Romans, PT is a contributing author to our blog and a great resource on Physical Therapy.

Topics: arthritis, shoulder, shoulder pain

Rotator Cuff: Secrets of the Shoulder Stabilizer

2/12/15 11:20 AM

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Your “shoulder” is a very complex joint that is actually comprised of several joints. The primary joint of the “shoulder” is the Glenohumeral joint (where the shaft of the arm meets the socket). Other joints that make up the shoulder complex include the Scapulothoracic Joint (shoulder blade and mid-back) and the Acromioclavicular Joint (this is where the collar bone meets the shoulder blade). These three joints work together to make your arm move. Pain can occur if these three joints do not work together.

One of the most common injuries to the shoulder involves the Rotator Cuff...

The Rotator Cuff is made up of four muscles: Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor and Subscapularis. These four muscles work together to control the stability of the shoulder during movement, especially overhead, and rotation motions.

The Rotator Cuff injuries can include strains / sprains, tears (mild to severe / complete) and impingement. There are also several other injuries that can occur in the shoulder.

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Written by Mary Smith.

Mary Smith, PT is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Baldwinsville office. She specializes in (and enjoys) treating injured runners to get them back to their craft, or simply reaching their best.

Topics: shoulder, pain between shoulder blades, shoulder pain

Frozen Shoulder: Not Related to the Windchill

1/20/15 4:43 PM
What is a Frozen Shoulder?

  • Otherwise known as "Adhesive Capsulitis," is a condition in which your shoulder will feel stiff and painful, especially when moving it.
  • Signs and symptoms often start gradually over time, then worsening before getting better.
  • The bones, ligaments and tendons that make up your shoulder are covered by a fibrous type material. A Frozen Shoulder occurs when this material gets thick and tightens around the shoulder - preventing normal type movements.

How does it happen?

The exact cause of Adhesive Capsulitis is unknown, but certain factors can increase your risk of developing a Frozen Shoulder:
  • Age and Sex.   People over 40, especially women are more likely to experience symptoms.
  • Non-use.    After prolonged immobility, such as after a shoulder surgery or injury.
  • Systemic diseases.  Such as with diabetes, thyroid issues and heart disease.

So what are the symptoms?

The main symptoms are pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion. These develop slowly and in three stages. Each of these below stages can last a number of months...
  • Painful Stage.    During this stage, pain occurs with any movement of your shoulder and your shoulder's range of motion starts to become limited.
  • Frozen Stage.    Pain may begin to diminish during this stage; however, your shoulder becomes stiffer, and your range of motion decreases significantly.
  • Thawing Stage.    During this stage, the range of motion in your shoulder begins to improve.

What are the possible treatment options?

  • Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication
  • Steroid injections
  • Surgery
  • Physical Therapy.  A physical therapist will instruct you on a course of treatment that will help maintain as much mobility in your shoulder as possible through stretching exercises. A therapist can also help to control pain and gain as much shoulder strength and range of motion as possible.
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Topics: shoulder, pain between shoulder blades, shoulder pain