Online Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain

Physiotherapy for Shoulder Pain, Frozen Shoulder and other shoulder pain conditions

No hidden charges / fees. LIMITED slots
available from 8 AM to 8 PM, Mon - Sat.

You probably already know that your shoulder has a wide and versatile range of motion. When something goes wrong here, it affects your ability to move freely in day to day activities and can cause a great deal of discomfort.

Let’s first understand the anatomy of the shoulder. It’s a ball-and-socket joint that has three main bones:

  • the humerus (long arm bone)
  • the clavicle (collarbone) and
  • the scapula (also known as the shoulder blade).

These three are cushioned by a layer of cartilage. There are two main joints. The acromioclavicular joint is between the highest part of the scapula and the clavicle.
The glenohumeral joint is made up of the top, ball-shaped part of the humerus bone and the outer edge of the scapula. This joint is also known as the shoulder joint.

The shoulder joint is in fact, the most mobile of all the joints in the human body.
It moves the shoulder front and back and also allows the arm to move in a circular motion.

This range of motion comes from the rotator cuff, which is in turn made up of four tendons. Tendons are the tissues that connect muscles to bone. It may be painful or difficult to lift your arm over your head if the tendons or bones around the rotator cuff are damaged or swollen. You could potentially injure your shoulder by picking up heavy objects or labouring repeatedly, playing sports, or even by doing an incorrect movement repeatedly over a period of time. However, naturally you’re more likely to have problems with your shoulder as you grow older, especially after age 60. This is because the soft tissues surrounding the shoulder tend to degenerate with age.

In a lot of cases, rest and recovery are good enough to take care of small niggles but in case of severe pain or specific injuries, surgeries, physiotherapy for shoulder pain may be needed.

What is Shoulder Pain?

Many of us at some point have issues with our shoulders and impingement or pain resulting in it limiting work and preventing us from enjoying life normally.


What you probably don’t know is that shoulder pain can be as trivial as a quick intermittent pain, often described as a sharp catch, but can go on to become a more constant, niggling ache down the arm and can even result in numbness. Problems in the shoulder can start with daily wear and tear, overutilization, or a one off injury. These issues can be effectively treated with physiotherapy where the right diagnosis will be stated and the appropriate treatment then implemented. But before we get into treatment let’s understand the issue at hand.

Did you know that shoulder pain is the third most common musculoskeletal complaint registered according to the World Health Organisation and this ailment has been found to affect up to 30% of all people present in the United States alone. However, in those of us who are physically active or participate in sports, numbers can increase to a 66.7% occurrence rate. Further research has recently pointed to the fact that 10% of all athletic injuries are related to the shoulder. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms of shoulder pain commonly faced.

What could be reasons?

Many injuries, conditions and diseases can cause shoulder pain. Here are a few:

Aging: Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (the wearing down of joint cartilage can weaken the bones and tendons in the shoulders. Post the age of 55-60, these degenerative pains start coming.

Injury: Trauma from sudden forced movement or impact and major tearing or turning can cause pain and soreness.

Mental stress: Tightening your neck muscles due to tension commonly causes neck pain and stiffness.

Physical strain: Overuse of your shoulder muscles during repetitive actions or tiring activities might lead to stiffness and pain.

Strains and sprains: Shoulder strains and sprains are fairly common during athletic movements such as sports and lifting. You can injure muscles, tendons or ligaments through improper posture or bending forward too much too.

Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis to spark shoulder pain.

Inflammation: where your shoulder becomes hot, red, swollen and painful as a natural reaction to an infection or injury

Tension: in the muscles between the neck and shoulder – this is usually down to your posture in your upper back or neck, and is often linked the way you stand or sit when you’re using a computer or at work
Inflammation in the bursa – a fluid-filled cushion which normally helps the muscles and tendons slide smoothly over the shoulder bones

What signs to look for?

There are various signs and symptoms that your shoulder muscles are strained or that something is off and that’s a clear reason for discomfort. Here are a few common symptoms.

  • Piercing pain deep inside the shoulder joint, in the back or the front of the shoulder and the upper part of the arm. Sometimes the pain in the shoulder can be described as a ‘catching pain’.
  • Restricted or limited movement, and pain when moving the shoulder.
  • Feeling weakness in the shoulder or upper arm. Depending on the condition, there may be a sensation of the joint slipping out and back into the joint socket, or the shoulder can become completely dislocated.
  • That prickly feeling of pins and needles (tingling) and shooting pain. This is more likely to be associated with nerves from the neck and not the shoulder joint itself.
  • Lack of movement because of a tear or dislocation of the rotator cuff.

No hidden charges / fees. LIMITED slots
available from 8 AM to 8 PM, Mon - Sat.

How to alleviate pain?

1. Physical Therapy
Most physiotherapy treatments for shoulder pain include an exercise program that corrects your posture and improves shoulder alignment and mobilization to reduce stiffness and the chances of injury. If you try to get a good balance between rest and activity it should help stop your shoulder getting stiff.
Your physio will teach you multiple exercises and work with treatments that you can do at home to help you return to your normal activities and lifestyle and improve the overall mobility of your shoulders.

2. Heat or cold therapy
Slapping on an ice pack may be helpful if your shoulder is painful after a small injury or if it’s inflamed and reddish, and is warmer to touch than the other side.
You could also use a bag of frozen peas or meat, wrapped in a damp towel to protect your skin.
Alternatively, heat packs can help with most other types of shoulder pain, particularly if your muscles feel sore and tense.

3. Lifestyle Changes
Bad posture or working habits, such as hunching and slouching at your workplace or desk, could make your shoulder problems worse.
Try these tips:

  • Avoid leaning forwards and resting on your arms too much.
  • Relax your shoulders and let the arms hang by your sides.
  • Keep changing your position often.
  • Sit upright, back straight!

4. Injections
Nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections, nerve ablations and other types of injection-based procedures are available for chronic shoulder and back pains..

5. Alternative Treatments
Acupuncture, deep tissue massage, laser therapy,
electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) can all help release impingements of nerves or damaged tendons and muscles in the shoulder.

6. Over the Counter Treatments
Anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and other medications can be used to help control pain in the shoulders.

Physical exercises to reduce pain

Arm Reach:
Very effective, very efficient when releasing the rotator cuff. Try this exercise.

  1. Lie flat on your back, extend the arms and legs, and engage the abdominal muscles.
  2. Reach with one arm toward the ceiling, lifting it until the shoulder blade comes off the floor.
  3. Hold for 5 seconds.
  4. Return arm to the floor.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Lying External Rotation:
Follow these simple steps to try this stretch.

  1. Lie on the side of the body on a firm surface, holding a light weight in the upper hand.
  2. Bend the top elbow to 90 degrees, keeping the upper arm against the side of the body and letting the weighted hand rest toward the floor in front of the body.
  3. Keeping the elbow against the side of the body, rotate the arm at the shoulder, bringing the weight toward the ceiling.
  4. Slowly lower the weighted arm back to the starting position.
  5. Repeat on the other side of the body.
  6. Place a small towel roll in the armpit while doing this exercise to reduce stress on the shoulder joint.

The Pendulum Stretch:
Very effective in releasing tension in the muscles in the shoulder joint.

  1. Lean forward with one arm hanging freely. Use the other arm to brace against a chair for support.
  2. Gently swing the hanging arm from side to side, forward and back, and in a circular motion.
  3. Slowly return to a standing position.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

Doorway stretch
Follow the steps below to do this stretch:

  1. Stand in a doorway, holding both sides of the frame at or just below shoulder height.
  2. Lean forward gently, keeping the back straight until there is a light stretch in the front of the shoulders.
  3. Lean further ahead to intensify the stretch if necessary. Remember it should not be painful.
    And back to standing position.

Two arm wall stretch

You guys can perform this stretch by doing the following:

  1. Stand up straight with the back against a wall.
  2. Raise each arm sideways into an L-shape with the upper arm parallel to the floor, keeping the arms as flat against the wall as possible.
  3. Maintain your elbow’s bend, move the arms up the wall to bring the hands closer together and then move them back down.
  4. And back to the rest position.

Thread the needle

This pose relieves tightness in your chest, shoulders, and upper back and is overall a GREAT stretch in your routine.

  1. Start on your hands and knees. Lift your right hand up toward the ceiling with your palm facing away from your body.
  2. Lower your arm to bring it under your chest and over to the left side of your body with your palm facing up.
  3. Activate your right shoulder and arm to avoid collapsing into this area.
  4. Keep your left hand on the floor for support, lift it toward the ceiling, or bring it around to the inside of your right thigh.
  5. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds.
  6. Relax in Child’s Pose before repeating this stretch on the left side.

Shoulder Impingements and pains are a complex set of conditions which require management based not on a set of standardized exercises, but an individual tailored management approach. Using a comprehensive approach utilising strength work, manual therapy, banded workouts, massages etc. Physiotherapists are well placed to help in the recovery from this issue.

Are there any side effects from shoulder pain physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy exercises for shoulder pain do not have any side-effects, but remember to be careful while doing activities that involve reaching for something overhead, carrying heavy objects, or bending. If you have to do these activities on the daily, decide how you can move your shoulders to minimize discomfort.
If you play sports that cause shoulder pain like badminton or cricket, make sure you’re using proper form and technique.

Where to get the best physiotherapist for shoulder pain?

At Phyt.Health we believe in restoring people to their healthiest self. Nerve impingements, rotator cuff problems, tendon issues in the shoulders, we’ve tackled and conquered all of these issues for our patients. Our team of experienced doctors assesses the pain levels, affected areas and possible causes before suggesting a line of treatment that you can very conveniently follow from the comfort of your homes via our AI assisted app. Don’t sit with one hand on your back as you read this, use it to book your free video consultation on our website and get started on the road to recovery!

No hidden charges / fees. LIMITED slots
available from 8 AM to 8 PM, Mon - Sat.