Dealing With Shoulder Injuries?

Watch this video on how shoulder injuries form.

You Don’t Have to Live with Shoulder Pain Any Longer

The term "Rotator cuff" describes a section of four muscles that keep your shoulder held together in its shallow socket while larger muscles move it.

The most prevalent cause of shoulder pain is rotator cuff strains and injuries, which account for 4.5 million doctor visits each year. The amount of damage caused by an injury is defined as "partial tears," "full-thickness tears," or "ruptures."

One side of your tendon has been partially frayed, resulting in a "partial tear." A "full-thickness tear," also known as a "total tear," occurs when your tendon develops a hole or slit similar to what would be made by running a knife length-wise down a rope. The most serious type of injury is a "rupture," which implies your tendon has been torn in two.

What will a treatment plan for shoulder pain look like?

Physiotherapy and chiropractic is a natural, easy, and comfortable way to find relief for shoulder pain, without the need for harmful drugs or invasive surgery.

Our Toronto chiropractors and physiotherapists have treated a number of conditions resulting in shoulder pain, with patients finding improvement and relief after just a few short sessions – and sometimes less!

Our practitioners are movement experts, trained to pinpoint the cause of your pain through a variety of diagnostic techniques.

During your evaluation, we will examine your range of motion, strength, coordination, your medical history, joint mobility, and mechanics of your joint motion.

Once we have established the cause of your shoulder pain, we can create a specialized combination of physiotherapy and chiropractic methods to manage and relieve your pain.

Gentle manual therapy helps to restore normal joint movement, ease soft tissue restrictions, and promote circulation, while specific therapeutic exercises restore strength, and the correct sequence of muscle activation around the shoulder joint.

Finally, we teach you techniques to enhance your strength and to prevent recurrence of future shoulder problems.

Why am I experiencing shoulder pain?

Your shoulder is capable of accomplishing many physical feats, and has the greatest range of all the joints in your body.

However, with its complexities also comes the possibilities of pain and discomfort. It is a “ball-and-socket” joint, meaning the head of the upper arm bone, or “humerus,” fits perfectly in the corresponding space within the shoulder blade, or “scapula.” The ends of the bone are protected by a thick layer of cartilage, protecting the bones from rubbing together.

Fluid-filled sacs called “bursae” also protect the tendons from rubbing against the bones. Tendons attach the bones in the shoulder to a set of bones, known as the rotator cuff. If something goes wrong with the intricacies that make up the mechanical interplay of the shoulder, pain can result.

The type of pain you feel in your shoulder can vary, depending on what is causing it. Pain from impingement, for example, typically occurs as you raise your arm up, and begins at a certain point in the range of motion.

Pain resulting from a degenerated shoulder may create persistent aches every time you move your arm in certain directions. Acute injuries can result in sudden and intense pains that make it impossible for you to move your shoulder at all.

Are you experiencing any of these shoulder pain conditions?

The complexities of the shoulder joint presents many opportunities for pain-causing conditions.

Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:

Frozen shoulder

Also known as “adhesive capsulitis,” frozen shoulder can occur if your arm has been in a case or sling for a while, or if you have been bedridden for an extended period of time. Furthermore, there are some ethnicities that are more predisposed, and women tend to have more instances than men. It is more common in women in the 40-60 years of age. Frozen shoulder results in a painful loss of motion in the shoulder with a tightening of the shoulder joint that severely limits motion.


The two main forms of arthritis that affect the shoulder are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage in the shoulder joint experiences significant “wear and tear,” typically due to age or excessive overuse. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the immune system decides to attack the membranes surrounding the shoulder joint, resulting in pain and inflammation. Both of these result in painful loss of motion, weakness to the shoulder muscles, and difficulty performing normal, daily tasks.


Impingement typically occurs because of abnormal movement and tracking of the humeral head as you lift your arm overhead. Pain typically occurs when lifting your arm at or above 90 degrees.


Tendinitis occurs when the shoulder joint is excessively overused typically due to the demands of a laborious job, overhead activity, or sport. Furthermore, poor posture is a major contributor, as this alters the normal forces on the tendons, and can set you up for tendon injury. This causes the tendons to undergo ongoing inflammation, resulting in swelling and painful impingement when raising your arm.

Rotator cuff tear

The rotator cuff is composed of 4 muscles, tendons, and soft tissue that surround the shoulder joint. The job of the rotator cuff is to correctly guide the movement of the shoulder joint. With injury, overuse, poor posture, or even age, the rotator cuff can be partially or completely torn. Depending on the severity and situation, sometimes surgery is needed, but often the correct physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments can help reduce pain and restore strength to the rotator cuff to compensate for the partial tear. If surgery is needed, physiotherapy is an integral part of the rehabilitation to a full recovery.


Could it be a rotator cuff tear? – a very common shoulder pain condition

While rotator cuff injuries sometimes require surgery if they are severe enough, there are several cases where physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments can work just as well (if not better) than surgery.

According to the American Physiotherapy Association, “A recent study from Finland asserts that when it comes to treatment of nontraumatic rotator cuff tears, physiotherapy alone produces results equal to those produced by arthroscopic surgery and open surgical repair.”

In this same study, a follow-up on 167 patients receiving physiotherapy alone for their rotator cuff injuries, demonstrated that conservative treatment, such as physiotherapy, should be considered as the primary treatment for this condition.

Your rotator cuff is composed of the muscles and tendons surrounding your shoulder joint. Sometimes, the rotator cuff can become torn or injured, due to repetitive overhead motions performed in sports (such as tennis) or jobs (such as carpentry.)

Those who experience rotator cuff injuries or “torn shoulders” generally report a dull ache deep in their shoulder, arm weakness, difficulty reaching behind their backs, and disturbed sleep due to pain. At Heal Physiotherapy & Chiropractic North York, our natural and non-invasive methods can help relieve your shoulder pain and heal your rotator cuff injury.

At Heal Physiotherapy & Chiropractic North York, we will conduct a physical evaluation and diagnostic tests to determine if you do indeed have a rotator cuff tear, and we will design a personalized treatment plan based on the needs of your diagnosis.


Find relief today!

Don’t let your shoulder pain limit your physical abilities any longer! Our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic practice will get you the help you need to start living your normal life once again.

Call Heal Physiotherapy & Chiropractic North York today to book your appointment and get started on your path toward pain-relief.

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