Phit Phorum – Ouch…My Shoulder Hurts!
I’m middle-aged for a pickle. I’m also an engineer and I spend many hours drafting, creating spreadsheets, and writing reports on my computer at work (exciting I know). I also enjoy playing tennis after work a few times a week to stay “phit” and trim.
Recently, I began feeling pain in my right shoulder when I reached overhead to serve a tennis ball. I felt the same kind of pain when I tried to throw a softball during my daughter’s softball practice.
After a few weeks, the shoulder pain worsened and I began to have difficulty just reaching into a cupboard to get a glass at home. Last night, the pain in my shoulder woke me up every time I rolled onto it. I decided to call my physical therapist because no one likes a crabby pickle.
My PT performed a full evaluation of my shoulder. She noted that I felt pain with certain shoulder movements, and had difficulty performing them due to weakness in the rotator-cuff and scapular muscles. She also saw that I had a rounded posture when sitting. She performed range-of-motion and other special tests on my shoulder. Based on her findings, she diagnosed shoulder impingement syndrome.
My PT and I worked together to establish short- and long-term goals for my treatment. She prescribed ice to help decrease my pain, and taught me some gentle movement and strengthening exercises. She performed manual (hands-on) therapy on my shoulder to gently mobilize the joints and tissues.
My PT showed me how to improve my posture when sitting at my desk at work, and taught me a home-exercise program of stretching, strengthening, and postural exercises, which she modified throughout the course of my therapy as my condition improved.
After a few weeks of diligent physical therapy sessions and performing my home-exercise program, I was able to report that I was able to raise my shoulder completely overhead without pain or limitation, and sleep on my side comfortably at night.
Today, I’m back playing tennis pain-free, and I’m able to “throw long” for my daughter during softball practice.