There is a great deal of really good information available on the Web, and following is a selection from the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). The intention of this organization is to educate their clients regarding their treatment options, especially surgical options, if conservative measures fail.
Shoulder impingement and Rotator Cuff tendonitis & Tears
- Shoulder Impingement/Rotator Cuff Tendinitis - OrthoInfo - AAOS
- Rotator Cuff Tears - OrthoInfo - AAOS
Labral Tears, including SLAP
Dislocations & Separations
From the perspective of Avalon Laser Health Physiotherapy and Wellness Physiotherapy and Wellness, there are great conservative treatment options available for all but the most serious of shoulder injuries. We offer collaborative care which includes any or all of physiotherapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and laser therapy.
The shoulder joint is the most mobile and least supported of all major joints; and this is what makes normal muscle function (movement and exercise) so important in a care plan. Muscles of the torso, neck, arm and as well as the small rotator cuff muscles must work together in proper balance in order to successfully restore shoulder function and lasting pain relief. Physiotherapists teach special motor control exercises which restore proper function of the small rotator cuff muscles and their balance with muscles from the thorax and the neck, before progressing to lengthening and strengthening exercises for all involved muscles.
While motor control exercises can moderate pain, they can be difficult to do when pain is overwhelming. Massage and acupuncture offer pain and stress relief. Low intensity laser therapy offers a photobiomodulation effect, which offers both pain relief and accelerated healing.
In our clinic, it is common that laser therapy, massage and/or acupuncture dominate early care. Motor control exercises are initiated as early as possible, and we recommend that exercise management become the dominant intervention once pain is manageable.
In addition to gentle techniques which improve circulation that are appropriate in early care for the purpose of pain management, massage therapy has much to offer in later stages of care.
Deep techniques to deactivate trigger points or address other tight areas within a muscle or surrounding soft tissue remain an important consideration throughout the treatment plan. We have observed that massage is a much loved aspect of care, and encourage our clients to continue occasional massage sessions following completion of treatment. Muscle tone is one measure of muscle function, and occasional massage provides early warning of developing muscle pain conditions.
We know that acupuncture can provide temporary pain relief for many conditions. In our clinic we are also quick to refer clients who report that stress or anxiety may be part of their pain presentation. Lifestyle stress, anxiety and poor posture have been reported to be major factors when clients do poorly following treatment plans that focus on exercise alone. Sometimes our clients’ stress and anxiety issues require referral to mental health experts. Other times, acupuncture and/or a combined team effort provides sufficient relief to enable a client to focus on and perform the exercise that is essential for successful recovery.
Our go-to modality for pain relief and accelerated healing. Every injury and pain presentation benefits from the photobiomodulation effect, which accelerates healing.