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Choosing the Best Therapy for Shoulder Pain: A Comprehensive Guide

shoulder pain
Dr. Garrett Stroup. Physical Therapist in Roseburg Area.


Dr. Garrett C. Stroup

DPT, VRC - Owner and Founder

We help athletes and active adults regain control of their injury without expensive surgeries or medications, so they can keep going.


Shoulder pain can be debilitating, affecting your ability to perform everyday tasks and enjoy life to the fullest. Finding the right therapy is crucial for effective pain management and restoring shoulder function. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various therapies and treatments for shoulder pain, helping you make informed decisions about the best approach for your unique situation.

Understanding the Causes of Shoulder Pain

Identifying the Root Cause

Shoulder pain can arise from a variety of issues, including rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, or even referred pain from the neck. Proper diagnosis by a healthcare professional is essential to determine the underlying cause and guide the selection of the most appropriate therapy.

Physical Therapy: A Cornerstone of Shoulder Pain Treatment

Customized Rehabilitation Plans

Physical therapy is often a first-line treatment for shoulder pain. Skilled physical therapists assess your condition, design personalized exercise programs, and use a variety of techniques to reduce pain and improve mobility. These therapies may include:

  • Manual Therapy:
    • Hands-on techniques like joint mobilization and soft tissue massage help reduce pain and improve joint mobility.
  • Therapeutic Exercises:
    • Custom exercises targeting specific muscles and movements help strengthen the shoulder, enhance stability, and improve range of motion.
  • Modalities:
    • Heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation can aid in pain relief, reduce inflammation, and promote healing.

shoulder therapy

Other Effective Therapies for Shoulder Pain

  1. Acupuncture:
    • Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points on the body, stimulating nerve pathways to promote pain relief and relaxation.
  1. Chiropractic Care:
    • Chiropractors use spinal adjustments and other techniques to improve joint mobility, alleviate nerve pressure, and potentially reduce shoulder pain.
  1. Massage Therapy:
    • Massage therapy can help relax muscles, improve blood circulation, and reduce tension, providing relief from shoulder pain.
  1. Cold Laser Therapy:
    • Cold laser therapy uses low-level lasers to stimulate cellular activity, reducing inflammation and promoting tissue repair.
  1. Anti-inflammatory Injections:
    • Injections of corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid can provide short-term relief by reducing inflammation and lubricating the joint.

Surgical Interventions for Shoulder Pain

Surgical Options

In some cases, when conservative treatments are not effective, surgical interventions may be necessary. Surgical options include:

  • Arthroscopy:
    • Minimally invasive surgery involving small incisions and a tiny camera to diagnose and repair shoulder joint issues.
  • Rotator Cuff Repair:
    • Surgery to repair torn or damaged rotator cuff tendons, often performed arthroscopically.
  • Shoulder Replacement:
    • Total or partial shoulder replacement surgery is considered for severe cases of shoulder arthritis or irreparable joint damage.

Choosing the Best Therapy for Your Shoulder Pain

Considerations and Consultations

The choice of therapy depends on various factors:

  • Severity of Pain:
    • Mild to moderate pain may respond well to conservative treatments, while severe, chronic pain might require more aggressive interventions.
  • Underlying Condition:
    • The specific diagnosis and cause of shoulder pain will guide the choice of therapy. Conditions like arthritis may require different approaches than acute injuries.
  • Personal Preferences:
    • Some individuals prefer non-invasive treatments, while others may opt for surgical solutions if they offer a quicker recovery and long-term relief.
  • Consultation with Specialists:
    • Consult with a physical therapist, orthopedic surgeon, or pain management specialist to determine the most suitable therapy for your condition.


Shoulder pain is a common issue, but it doesn’t have to control your life. With various effective therapies available, finding the right treatment plan tailored to your needs is crucial. Whether it’s physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, or surgery, the goal is the same: to reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance your overall quality of life.

At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance, we offer comprehensive evaluations and personalized treatment plans to address your shoulder pain. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you find the best therapy for your unique situation. If you’re ready to take the first step towards a pain-free shoulder and improved quality of life, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and embark on the journey to a pain-free, more active life.

OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance

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