According to experts, shoulder pain is the third most common kind of muscle and joint pain complained about at the doctor’s office. It accounts for over 4 million doctor’s visits in the United States alone. There are several reasons that a person might be experiencing pain from the shoulder to the elbow. This can be a symptom of overuse, or it could be the result of a traumatic injury.
However, it is important to have your physical therapist address your pain, as it may be a symptom of something more serious.
What is causing the pain from my shoulder to my elbow?
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in your shoulder, upper arm or elbow, you may be experiencing one of the following conditions:
- Tendinitis — Pain from the shoulder to the elbow could be a symptom of tendinitis. Tendinitis is caused by tears in the tendons that connect muscles to bones. The shoulder muscles and well as the biceps muscle can suffer from tendinitis. Athletes and manual laborers are susceptible to tendinitis due to repetitive motions that can put strain on the tendons.
- Rotator cuff injury — The rotator cuff is the collection of muscles that hold the shoulder together. If placed under too much strain, the rotator cuff can tear. This results in pain, swelling and a limited ability to move the arm.
- Sprained muscle — A sprain occurs when ligaments become stretched or torn. This can occur during a traumatic event such as a car accident, or while playing contact sports. Symptoms can include swelling, bruising, limited joint mobility and pain.
How can physical therapy help with pain from my shoulder to my elbow?
A licensed physical therapist can pinpoint the cause of your pain and work with you to develop a physical therapy plan to treat it. Physical therapists employ a number of methods to reduce your pain, promote flexibility and healing in your affected arm, and work with you to prevent any further injury. Some of these methods may include:
- Therapeutic exercise and stretching.
- Dry needling therapy.
- Manual therapy & soft tissue mobilization.
A free screening at any one of our many Back in Motion clinics in southern Maine will help us create a physical therapy program specially suited to your needs. Our team of physical therapy specialists are ready and willing to help you along the road to recovery.
Contact us today for more information about treating pain from the shoulder to elbow or to schedule an initial appointment.