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Shoulder Pain Therapy in Merrick and Amityville, NY

Patient receiving shoulder therapy while lying down on the floor

Whether your shoulder pain is sudden or you’ve had it for a while, it is essential to limit activity to prevent aggravating the pain. Symptoms of shoulder pain include neck pain, back pain, muscle stiffness, limited range of motion, and warmth in your shoulder.

Getting prompt treatment to alleviate discomfort and prevent a recurrence is essential. Summit Physical Therapy in Merrick and Amityville, NY, provides adequate shoulder pain therapy. Our experienced physical therapists will start with a thorough examination to ascertain the cause of your shoulder pain.

Depending on your symptoms, how you move, and the severity of your pain, your physical therapist will develop a recovery program to prevent your pain from returning.

What is Shoulder Pain Therapy?

Shoulder pain therapy includes physical therapy techniques for relieving shoulder pain and restoring range of motion. Shoulder pain may worsen without prompt treatment, making you lose strength and mobility. Eventually, it may be challenging to carry out daily activities.

Shoulder pain therapy in Merrick and Amityville, NY, consists of several therapies to reduce pain and inflammation. Your physical therapist will evaluate your symptoms and identify the likely cause of the pain before prescribing a customized treatment plan.

What are the Causes of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain results from different causes, including:

1. Poor Posture

Slouching, hunching when seated, and leaning forward when using a computer are poor postures. Poor posture pinches the tendon and causes it to rub against the natural padding of the shoulder. Consequently, this results in inflammation, swelling, and pain.

2. Arthritis

Arthritis occurs when there is wear in the shoulder joints. You may experience shoulder stiffness and a reduced range of motion if you have shoulder arthritis. Other symptoms of shoulder arthritis include sleeping difficulties and grinding, popping, or clicking of your shoulder joint.

Although the shoulder joints can withstand wear and tear compared to other weight-bearing joints, muscle overuse can result in arthritis. In addition, athletes are more likely to injure their shoulders and develop osteoarthritis. Age and gender are also risk factors for shoulder arthritis. Females and people older than 50 years are likely to develop arthritis.

3. Dislocation

A dislocation occurs when the ball part of the shoulder joint pops out of its socket. If your shoulder looks square instead of round, you most likely have a dislocated shoulder. In addition, you may experience pain and be unable to move your arm.

The risk factors for dislocated shoulder include genetics and previous dislocation. If you have a dislocated shoulder, you are more susceptible to a recurring dislocation. In addition, repetitive overhead movement stretches the ligaments in your shoulder sockets leading to instability and, consequently, dislocation.

4. Calcific Tendonitis of the Shoulder

Calcific tendonitis results from the buildup of calcium deposits on the tendons and muscles of the shoulders. The deposits may become inflamed, causing excruciating pain and stiffness. Symptoms of calcific tendonitis include reduced range of motion, intense pain when moving your shoulders, sudden stiffness, and pain that disrupts your sleep.

Although this condition is not common, the exact cause is unknown. Nevertheless, females and people between the ages of 40 and 60 are at higher risk of developing the condition. Wear and tear may also lead to calcific tendonitis.

Physical therapist helping patient with shoulder pain in Merrick and Amityville, NY

How Physical Therapy Can Help with Shoulder Pain

Physical therapy for shoulder pain includes several treatments for easing pain and preventing recurrence. The best treatment for you will depend on the severity of your pain and symptoms. Physical therapy for shoulder pain includes;

1. Ice Therapy

Ice therapy is ideal for acute shoulder pain. It is required to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. When applying ice for shoulder pain, put it in a thin cloth. Avoid direct contact between the ice and your skin. In addition, put the ice pack on your shoulder for 10 to 20 minutes.

2. Heat Therapy

Unlike cold therapy, waiting about 72 hours after experiencing acute shoulder pain before applying heat therapy is ideal. In addition, thermotherapy improves circulation by relaxing the muscles and reducing stiffness.

Unlike cold therapy, do not apply a direct heat source to your skin. Instead, wrap a hot water bottle or gel pack in a towel before applying it to the inflamed area.

3. Manual Therapy

Manual therapy is a hands-on treatment that requires your physical therapist to relax your shoulders. During this therapy, your physical therapist will use their hands and direction-specific pressure to ease pain and help you regain mobility.

4. Ultrasound

Therapeutic ultrasound involves the application of sound waves through an ultrasound therapy machine. The waves enter the body and increase blood flow to enhance healing and reduce pain. Usually, physical therapists use ultrasound in combination with an exercise program to relieve shoulder pain.

5. Electrical Stimulation

Electrical stimulation also strengthens the muscles and reduces pain. The treatment administers impulses through the electrodes attached to the skin. The impulses make the muscles contract, improving circulation and boosting the range of motion.

6. Stretching and Strengthening

Stretching and strengthening exercises also alleviate shoulder pain. Your physical therapist will recommend stretches to gently push your muscles gradually till you regain your range of motion. In addition, strengthening exercises will strengthen your shoulder muscles and surrounding muscles o make you stronger and alleviate pain.

At-Home Physical Therapy Exercises for Shoulder Pain

Physical therapy exercises target your injury to ease pain and improve your strength. Your physical therapist will recommend these exercises and show you how to do them safely.

Across the chest stretch

This stretch is a simple exercise that improves flexibility and the range of motion of your shoulder muscles. You can include this exercise in your daily routine or even do it while sitting at your desk at work.

  • Bring one arm across your chest.
  • Hold the arm in place with your other arm and hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Release and repeat on the other arm
  • Repeat the stretch 3 to 5 times for both arms


  • Lean over and support your injured arm with a table or chair
  • Let your sore arm dangle straight down
  • Draw circles in the air. Start with small circles and let them gradually grow. It is also best to reverse the direction periodically.
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times.

Chest expansion

It would be best if you used an exercise band for this exercise. You can also use a tie, strap, or rope.

  • Hold the band behind your back and grasp it with both hands
  • Move your shoulder blades toward each other
  • Gently lift your chin toward the ceiling
  • Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and breathe deeply
  • Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times

Downward dog

  • Start on your hands and knees on a mat
  • Press your palms into the mat and lift your hips up
  • Keep your knees bent and distribute your weight across your palms and feet
  • Keep your spine straight and pull your head towards your feet
  • Ensure your shoulders and back are adequately stretched out above your head

Neck release

  • Sit up straight
  • Slowly tilt your chin towards your chest till you feel the stretch at the back of your neck.
  • Lean your head toward the left to stretch your right shoulder
  • Hold this position for a minute
  • Breathe deeply to relax and maximize the stretch
  • Repeat for the other side

Doorway stretch

  • Stand in a doorway
  • Place one arm against the door frame. Ensure your elbow is higher than your shoulder.
  • Relax your shoulders and lean forward
  • Allow your chest and shoulder muscles to stretch
  • Turn your body slightly away from your arm to stretch the muscles further
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times for each arm

Choose Summit Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain in Merrick and Amityville, NY

Sometimes shoulder pain results from underlying conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Visiting a physical therapist at Summit Physical Therapy in Merrick, NY and Amityville, NY, for a diagnosis is ideal.

Before recommending a treatment plan, your physical therapist will examine your symptoms and determine the likely cause. Our physical therapists are trained and specialists in developing customized treatments to reduce your pain and restore function.

Frequently Ask Questions About Shoulder Pain

Q: How to Do Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Physical therapy for shoulder pain includes heat and cold therapy, strengthening and stretching exercises, and rehabilitative tools like dry needling and electrical stimulation. Depending on your treatment plan, your physical therapist will work with you to relieve pain and restore function.

Q: Is Physical Therapy Worth It for Shoulder Pain?

Yes, physical therapy is worth it for shoulder pain. This treatment method can help prevent the need for shoulder surgery. In addition, in cases where physical therapy is used after surgery, it helps to boost recovery, reduce downtime, and prevent a recurrence.

Q: Which Therapy is Best for Shoulder Pain

The best therapy for shoulder pain is physical therapy. Physical therapy is a non-surgical treatment that can strengthen the shoulder muscles to improve function and mobility. Your physical therapist will create a treatment plan with customized treatments based on your symptoms and the severity of the pain.

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