Excel PT: How To Beat Aching Shoulders

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

GET RELIEF FOR ACHING SHOULDERS

The shoulder is one of the most fascinating regions of the body. It is comprised of four joints, with many muscles and ligaments which hold it together to make it one of the most mobile joints in the human body. In order to use the arms for any activity, the 4 joints have to act synchronously in order to effectively promote movement.

By Meryl Goldstein, PT, MPT

(continued inside)

INSIDE : • How To Beat Aching Shoulders

• Exercise Of The Month • Featured PT

• 3 Ways To Relieve Your Shoulder Pain

www.excelphysicaltherapy.com

THE NEWSLETTER ABOUT YOUR HEALTH AND CARING FOR YOUR BODY Health Tips Newsletter

INSIDE : • 3 Ways To Relieve Your Shoulder Pain • Featured PT GET RELIEF FOR ACHING SHOULDERS (continued from outside)

• Exercise Of The Month • Patient Success Spotlight

and upper arm bone move together as a unit and can help restore normal movement patterns with manual techniques to free these regions up so that they move properly. A PT can also prescribe a specific strength and endurance training routine that is simple to replicate and is highly effective in restoring normal joint mechanics. As the shoulder complex learns how to synchronously operate as a unit, pain subsides and function is restored. If impingement syndrome continues for a long time, not only will pain and disability worsen, but it can also cause debilitating arthritis at the glenohumeral joint from the humeral head rubbing against the acromion due to the superior migration of the bone. The rotator cuff muscles will continue to weaken and can even tear as a result. Arthritis in the shoulder joint can be quite painful and severely disrupts normal everyday life. If you are experiencing shoulder aches and pains, why not have a physical therapist examine it? We can make a tremendous difference in the mechanics and function of this fascinating joint to prevent serious issues in the future. In fact, research has shown that conservative rehabilitation in management of rotator cuff alone produces results equal to those produced by arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair.¹ Rotator cuff issues are a common problem. Studies have shown that 30% of those under the age of 70, and 70% of those over age 80, have a rotator cuff tear. And these are people with no symptoms of shoulder pain. 2 So let a physical therapist intervene today to prevent your aching shoulders from taking over your life! Sources: 1. Kukkonen,J.etal.Treatmentofnon-traumatic rotatorcuff tears:A randomisedcontrolled trialwithone-yearclinical results. BoneJointJ.96(B1).Jan,2014. 2. Iannotti,JP “Full-ThicknessRotatorCuffTears”JAm.Acad.Ortho.Surg.,Mar1994;2:87 -95.

We often take the behavior of the shoulder complex for granted, given its ability to provide power to the upper extremity, enabling us to accomplish the most basic activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, and reaching. What happens when something goes wrong in the shoulder? Because of its immense mobility, the shoulder is inherently highly unstable. If one or more

ByMerylGoldstein,PT,MPT

of the four joints are dysfunctional, problems can develop that can lead to painful, aching shoulders. For example, what if you fall and dislocate your shoulder? Or if you develop a rotator cuff problem? A whole lot of compensation has to occur in order for you to be able to complete your daily activities, which can lead to pain and cause problems in surrounding regions, such as the neck and elbow. As a physical therapist who loves to treat shoulder disorders, I can vouch for the fact that these issues can make patients really miserable. The good news is that there are things which you can do to avoid injuries, such as rotator cuff tendon problems, impingement and arthritis. The chief role of the four rotator cuff muscles is to keep the head of the humerus, or the “ball”, centered in the glenoid fossa, or the “socket”. There is a roof over this glenohumeral joint called the acromion, which is part of the shoulder blade. If that ball does not stay centered on the socket with arm motions, it can migrate upward and cause compression to the tissues just below the acromion. This can happen if the rotator cuff is not strong enough, or does not have enough muscle endurance to properly keep the joint in alignment. This is called impingement syndrome. Typical symptoms include pain with overhead reaching or lifting, sleeping, or reaching across the body. A physical therapist will evaluate how well the shoulder blade

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Marisa Pontillo, PT, PhD, DPT, SCS FEATURED PT

3 Ways To Relieve Your Shoulder Pain

Your shoulders have to move through an incredible 180 degrees of motion, while still maintaining stability and strength. The shoulder joint acts like a ball in a very shallow socket that is part of the shoulder blade. Some of the most important muscles in the rotator cuff are actually the smallest. The rotator cuff is made up of 4 muscles that are small, but vital to keeping the ball stable in the socket. When these muscles are weak or injured, the ball can jam up into the socket of the shoulder blade, causing inflammation and pain. Try these simple actions to improve the health of your shoulders and alleviate that nagging ache or sharp pain for good: 1. Sit up tall! – The number one reason for repetitive injury and pain in the shoulders is poor posture. When the ball moves forward in the socket, the rotator cuff becomes vulnerable to injury! There is less space for the muscles which can then get “pinched”. The muscles are also overstretched, making them weaker. 2. Strengthen your rotator cuff muscles – By keeping your rotator cuff muscles strong, you help guide your shoulder joints, lessening the chance for injury and inflammation to occur. A simple exercise to perform: while sitting or standing, keep elbows at your side bent to 90 degrees and thumbs up. Push your hands out like opening a newspaper. Repeat 10 times. 3. Improve your scapula stability – The shoulder blade makes up an important part of your shoulder complex. It has many different muscles attached to it, pulling at just the right time for proper shoulder movement. Improve the shoulder blade muscles by frequently firing them. In sitting or standing, drop your shoulders slowly down and back. This wakes up those important muscles, which help guide the shoulder blade when using your arm. Perform 10-15 repetitions, holding the contraction for 5 seconds frequently throughout the day. By working on these 3 simple actions, you can dramatically improve the performance and feel of your shoulders. If your shoulders feel weak, achy, or painful give us a call today. We will definitely get your shoulders feeling limber, stronger and allow you to get back to doing life’s everyday activities pain-free.

1. How did you decide to become a physical therapist and what motivates you to work with patients? I did my undergraduate degree in chemistry, which made me realize quickly that I never, ever wanted to have a career in chemistry. During my transition time, I was working at a gym and completed my personal training certification which led me into physical therapy. I did my DPT at Drexel University, and was interested in orthopedics and sports. I was fortunate enough to do my last clinical rotation at the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma in Manhattan, where I realized that my passion lay in sports physical therapy. Seeing my patients return to their previous sport is my motivation. 2. What was your most memorable patient experience? I had the opportunity to work with a professional baseball player who was released from his team after having his 3rd shoulder surgery. After a lengthy and challenging course of care, he was able to return to play at the professional level. He attributes most of his success to the fact that he listened to Taylor Swift non-stop while at PT.

3. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? In this day and age of dog spas and dog bakeries, I’d have to say a dog. I also think it’d be nice to get carried around when I’m tired.

4. If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be and why? Chill. I try not to sweat the small stuff.

5. What do you like to do in your off time, outside the clinic? I’m a self-proclaimed food and wine connoisseur. I enjoy travel, especially to Canada. I also enjoy kayaking, snowboarding, watching pretty much every sport, and chilling with my very non-athletic dog. I will probably be fully obsessed with Game of Thrones by the time you read this.

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CALL US TODAY IF YOU ARE IN PAIN

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Patient Success Spotlight

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Losing sleep, limited at work and barely able to lift her son, Patricia J. was unable to function because of her shoulder pain. See how we were able to help Patricia get her life back! “I started PTa fewmonths ago to address my shoulder, which was so bad, it was waking me up multiple times a night, and it was just as hard to be comfortable being on my computer every day. It got so bad that I could barely lift my son on my right side. Nicolas Drago, PT, DPT was my therapist and he was amazing! He was able to figure out my problem areas in my shoulder due to a previous back injury and he implemented a treatment plan, where every week I improved. Nick would explain everything he was doing and his treatment addressed my whole body, so my back stayed in good shape. The front desk staff was also helpful when scheduling appointments or dealing with my insurance. I can’t say enough good things about Excel and would recommend Nick to everyone! He is an expert in PT and it shows.“ - Patricia J. Don’t delay we can help you! Contact us: Downtown Philadelphia & South Jersey, Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County, Montgomery County, The Main Line, Delaware County, Chester County, Allentown, Lancaster: www.excelphysicaltherapy.com/contact-us “He was able to figure out my problem areas in my shoulder and every week I was improving.” EXTERNAL ROTATION WITH BAND Sitting with good posture, begin by grasping the band in both hands with your elbows tucked against your sides. Slowly rotate one arm outward, pulling against the tubing. Repeat 10 times on each side. Strengthens Shoulder www.simpleset.net Try this exercise if you are experiencing shoulder pain EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

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