Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is a common pain that many people experience but it should not be a problem that we settle to live with. The shoulder joint is extremely mobile. This means it has the most range of motion of all our joints. If we are experiencing shoulder pain, more than likely close to all of our daily activities will aggravate us because of how much we use our upper extremities. 

The shoulder joint is made up of three main parts and bones:

  • Humerus (the upper-arm bone)
  • Clavicle (the collarbone)
  • Scapula (the shoulder blade)

These bones are held together by muscles, tendons, and ligaments and form shoulder joints which allow us to do everyday tasks with ease. The shoulder joint is one of the most-used parts of the body, it’s at a higher risk for injury. We use it in almost all activities we participate in. It is important to understand how to protect our shoulders as well as how to properly treat shoulder pain and injuries.

Shoulder pain diagram symmetry pt miami

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

It is also important to understand some of the most common injuries of the shoulder and why they occur so we can aim to avoid these injuries. Listed below are some of the most common shoulder injuries.

Impingement syndrome: When repetitive overhead arm movements force the tendons to rub against a part of the shoulder blade, which can lead the rotator cuff tendons to become irritated. 

Tendinitis: When the tendons become irritated or inflamed due to overuse or trauma to the tissue.

Frozen shoulder: Characterized by stiffness in the shoulder severely limits your shoulder’s range of movement following prolonged immobilization or relative disuse after an injury.

Bursitis: When the fluid sac cushioning and lubricating the shoulder joint becomes inflamed due to overuse and repetitive overhead movements.

More likely than not, these will be overuse injuries due to poor biomechanics, faulty movement patterns, or muscle weakness. Trauma causes injuries also. Examples include falling and trying to brace by extending your arm, along with other accidents. Physical therapy is used to address all of these conditions. Physical therapy prevents the impairments that are leading to the problem to prevent it from recurring. 

What to Expect at the First PT Session

The initial evaluation will include the physical therapist examining the physical limitations of your injury, measuring your range of motion along with other tests to see if there is any structural damage. Following the examination, the therapist will give you recommendations for home exercises, and write out a plan of care that will help you achieve the goals that you have. The treatment plan will consist of several types of physical therapy that will help your shoulder injury heal most effectively. The physical therapist is also available to answer any additional questions or address any concerns you may have, whether it’s about your shoulder injury or everyday activities in which you can improve to avoid increases in pain. 


We recommend seeing a medical professional to properly treat you if you have shoulder pain. Then, return you to your prior level of function and avoid further injury. We do not recommend you avoid treatment or attempt to wait for it to get better. Avoiding treatment can often make your injury worse.

Do you live in the Miami or Brickell area and are looking for a Physical Therapist? Come see us at Symmetry Physical Therapy where we provide an in-depth assessment and treatment strategies so we can help you return to a pain-free lifestyle. 

Feel free to give us a call at (305) 331 2277 to schedule an appointment.

Book a session with us in clinic or virtually!