Shoulder Injury Therapy & Treatment

If you've ever suffered from a shoulder injury and pain, you're in good company. Roughly one in every three people will have to deal with a shoulder injury at some point in their life. What's worse, half of those people will continue to report having shoulder pain three years later.

Most common shoulder injuries:

  • Compression of the structures under the acromion
    • rotator cuff muscles
    • subacromial bursa
    • biceps tendon
  • Can contribute to rotator cuff tears

So what does your shoulder consist of?

  • Glenohumeral joint (ball and socket)
  • Scapulothoracic joint (shoulder blade on rib cage)
  • Acromioclavicular joint (collar bone and shoulder blade)

What can shoulder therapy do for your pain?

The soft tissues around the shoulder joint (muscles, tendons, ligaments, joint capsule) must be elastic enough to allow the desired movement. Things like manual therapy and specific stretches can help to regain this crucial aspect of shoulder function.

In order for the ball and socket to smoothly execute the rolling and gliding necessary to lift your arm overhead, you need to be able to keep certain parts stable so other parts can move. This stability mostly comes down to strengthening of the rotator cuff.

The importance of motor control and positioning is paramount with shoulder movements.

Our Portland physical therapy clinics can help you with your shoulder injury treatment with our state of the art equipment and experienced therapists.

Click the headings below for more information:

Chest Injury Treatment

Chest Injury Treatment Portland

Chest strains are very common with weightlifters and patients who perform sports activities. Though considered a mild injury, if not treated chest injuries can manifest into poor posture and cause secondary shoulder issues like subacromial impingement of the rotator cuff.

Chest injury therapy treatments involve manual therapy and stretching to decrease muscle tension and fiber adhesions, while gradually progressing strengthening. Because chest strains tend to happen with athletic populations, activity modification is necessary so the athlete does not re-injure the muscle by returning to intense physical activity too fast too soon. Particular attention to shoulder mechanics and proper scapular mechanics is necessary during and after chest injuries to make sure the athlete is able to reach maximum power in all ranges of shoulder motion.

Rotator Cuff Tear Therapy

Rotator cuff tears can affect all age spans of the population. Rotator cuff tears usually come about from chronically bad posture and poor scapular mechanics that cause extra friction to rotator cuff muscles and tendons. In fact, scapulo-humeral mechanics is the mainstay of effective long-term rotator cuff therapy for the shoulder and is the focus of majority of PT sessions.

Rotator Cuff Tear Therapy Portland

Whether a rotator cuff has been operated on or not, gradual and progressive strengthening of the rotator cuff complex, along with strengthening the periscapular muscles is highly important in achieving full rehabilitation of the shoulder. Initial phases of rotator cuff physical therapy include pain modulation, passive and active range of motion techniques to maintain and gain shoulder movement. Later phases include strengthening of the shoulder girdle muscles located in the upper back: especially the lower and middle trapezius muscles, and the serratus anterior muscles that lie on the ribcage. Progressive exercises then graduate on to return to daily living activities and athletic activities like lifting, carrying and throwing maneuvers.

Clavicle Fracture Treatment

Clavical Fracture Treatment Portland

Clavicle, or collarbone, fractures happen from traumatic accidents in sports or in a car injury. Clavicle fractures can range in mild to severe, and must be followed by a physician and routine X-Rays to make sure that union of the bone is healthy and strong. Then the ongoing clavicle injury therapy will continue to reduce pain and heal the injury.

A physical therapist can not only help with the pain of a clavicle fracture via soft tissue work, activity modifications and passive maneuvers for range of motion, but he/she can also gradually progress the patient in exercises that can allow return to normal strength and function. 

Our physical therapists at Stride Strong Physical Therapy can help patients recover from a myriad of shoulder injuries. In fact, some of our physical therapists were NCAA softball players and boxers who they themselves have suffered through their own bouts of shoulder pain and dysfunction. Being confidently coached by a PT who has walked the same path patients have to go through gives our patients a sense of security. If you have shoulder pain, call us today and let us guide you through it at any of our of our convenient locations in Beaverton and Hillsboro.

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Alice Holland, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy, Director at Stride Strong Physical Therapy
Alice earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from USC in 2007, and have practiced Physical Therapy for 12+ years in the Outpatient Orthopedic Setting. Certified in ASTYM, she also has been a featured expert on Physical Therapy on numerous publications including, and