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Shoulder Pain and Physical Therapy: Your Pathway to Recovery

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, a common complaint that affects people of all ages and backgrounds, can significantly impact daily activities and diminish overall quality of life. For those experiencing shoulder discomfort, the question often arises: Will shoulder pain go away with physical therapy? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the role of physical therapy in shoulder pain management, providing insights into the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions and offering hope to those seeking relief.

Understanding the Complexity of Shoulder Pain

Anatomy and Vulnerability

The shoulder joint, one of the most mobile and complex joints in the human body, is prone to various issues such as rotator cuff injuries, tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis. Shoulder pain can result from overuse, poor posture, sports injuries, or underlying medical conditions. Understanding the underlying cause of shoulder pain is essential for effective treatment.

How Physical Therapy Addresses Shoulder Pain

Customized Treatment Plans

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in managing shoulder pain by providing personalized, evidence-based treatments. A skilled physical therapist assesses the patient’s condition, identifies the root cause of the pain, and designs a tailored treatment plan. This plan typically includes a combination of exercises, manual therapy, modalities, and patient education, aiming to reduce pain, improve range of motion, and enhance shoulder function.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

  1. Pain Relief:
    • Targeted exercises and manual therapies can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation in the shoulder joint.
  1. Improved Mobility and Flexibility:
    • Physical therapy exercises focus on enhancing shoulder range of motion and flexibility, allowing for easier and pain-free movements.
  1. Strengthening Weak Muscles:
    • Strengthening exercises help build stability in the shoulder, reducing the risk of future injuries and enhancing overall shoulder function.
  1. Posture Correction:
    • Physical therapists educate patients on proper posture and ergonomics, which can alleviate strain on the shoulder and prevent recurring pain.

Will Shoulder Pain Go Away with Physical Therapy?

Individual Responses to Therapy

The effectiveness of physical therapy in addressing shoulder pain varies from person to person. Several factors influence the outcomes, including:

  • Severity of the Condition: Mild to moderate shoulder pain often responds well to physical therapy. Severe or chronic conditions may require more extended therapy sessions and ongoing exercises for sustained relief.
  • Patient Adherence: Patients who actively participate in therapy sessions, follow home exercise programs, and make lifestyle modifications are more likely to experience positive outcomes.
  • Underlying Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis or rotator cuff tears, may require ongoing physical therapy to manage symptoms effectively.
  • Early Intervention: Seeking physical therapy early after the onset of shoulder pain can prevent the condition from worsening, leading to faster recovery.
Shoulder Joint Pain

What to Expect During Physical Therapy for Shoulder Pain

  1. Comprehensive Assessment:
    • The physical therapist conducts a thorough assessment, which may include range of motion tests, strength evaluations, and imaging reviews, to diagnose the underlying issue.
  1. Personalized Treatment Plan:
    • Based on the assessment, the therapist develops a personalized treatment plan, incorporating exercises, manual therapy, and modalities to address the specific needs of the patient.
  1. Hands-On Therapy:
    • Manual therapies such as joint mobilizations, soft tissue massage, and stretching exercises help alleviate muscle tension and joint stiffness.
  1. Therapeutic Exercises:
    • Patients are guided through a series of exercises designed to improve shoulder strength, flexibility, and stability. These exercises are tailored to the patient’s abilities and progression.
  1. Progress Monitoring and Adjustments:
    • The therapist monitors the patient’s progress closely, adjusting the treatment plan as needed to ensure optimal outcomes. Patients are encouraged to communicate their experiences and concerns for effective adjustments.

Long-Term Wellness and Prevention

Empowering Patients for Future Shoulder Health

Physical therapy not only provides relief from current shoulder pain but also equips patients with the knowledge and tools for long-term shoulder health. By understanding proper body mechanics, strengthening supporting muscles, and practicing preventive exercises, patients can significantly reduce the risk of future shoulder issues.


Physical therapy is a valuable and effective option for managing shoulder pain, offering hope and relief to individuals seeking to regain their quality of life. While the outcomes may vary, the expertise of physical therapists and the commitment of patients play pivotal roles in achieving positive results. At OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance, our team of dedicated physical therapists is committed to guiding patients through their shoulder pain journey, empowering them to lead pain-free and fulfilling lives.

If you’re ready to take the first step toward a pain-free shoulder and improved mobility, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation. Together, we’ll create a customized treatment plan tailored to your unique needs, ensuring a comprehensive approach to your shoulder pain recovery.

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

OrMobility Physical Therapy & Performance

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