The shoulder is one of the most flexible joints and used joints in the body. Shoulder pain occurs from not only traumatic injury but also from repeated stress injuries or even degenerative conditions. The shoulder joint relies so heavily on muscles and tendons for stability, that when a soft tissue injury occurs, pain typically follows.
Shoulder pain can cover many aspects of injuries: strains/sprains, rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, bursitis, impingement and arthritis. Shoulder injuries can be very debilitating and can decrease your function, especially if it is the dominant arm. Research is showing that trying PT first before using drugs to manage pain, expensive diagnostic tests & surgery is far more cost effective and returns patients back to function much more quickly.
Physical therapists use special tests and measures to determine the origin of your pain and can treat most injuries with conservative treatment and return patient to functional activities. If conservative treatment does not help the therapist is able to refer you to the appropriate orthopedist for other possible interventions.