5 Shoulder Pain Solutions From A Physiotherapist

Shoulder pain can disrupt daily life, making even simple tasks challenging. Consulting a physiotherapist in Edmonton offers a viable solution for those seeking relief. Physiotherapy Edmonton is recognized for its effective approaches to diagnosing, treating, and managing shoulder discomfort. Physiotherapists are equipped to address various shoulder issues, from acute injuries to chronic pain conditions. By understanding the underlying causes of shoulder pain, physiotherapists can tailor a treatment plan that fits each patient’s needs, ensuring a holistic approach to recovery and long-term health.

1. Manual Therapy 

Manual therapy is a fundamental aspect of physiotherapy focused on alleviating shoulder pain and enhancing joint function through hands-on techniques.


  • Massage: This entails exerting pressure on the soft tissues around the shoulder. Depending on the patient’s condition and pain tolerance, the techniques can vary from deep tissue manipulation to lighter, more soothing strokes.
  • Stretching: Specific stretches improve the elasticity and length of the muscles and tendons around the shoulder. This helps increase the range of motion and reduces the risk of muscle stiffness.
  • Joint Mobilizations: The therapist performs gentle shoulder joint movements to increase the joint’s range of motion. The therapist manually moves the joint within or beyond its usual range to alleviate tightness and improve function.


  • Pain Alleviation: Manual therapy can significantly reduce shoulder pain by easing muscle tension and enhancing joint alignment.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Techniques such as massage help stimulate blood circulation to the injured region, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation.
  • Improved Functionality: Increased mobility from stretching and joint mobilizations enhances overall shoulder function, making daily activities easier and less painful.

2. Exercise Therapy 

This plays an important role in the rehabilitation and long-term management of shoulder conditions by strengthening and increasing the flexibility of the shoulder muscles.

Specific Exercises

  • Strengthening Exercises: These may include shoulder presses, wall push-ups, or elastic band resistance exercises, which are tailored to strengthen the muscles supporting the shoulder.
  • Stretching Routines: Physiotherapists in Edmonton design specific stretching exercises to maintain or improve the shoulder’s range of motion. These might include pendulum stretches, cross-body reach, or doorway stretches.
  • Conditioning Activities: Conditioning activities like swimming or using a rowing machine might be incorporated to enhance overall shoulder health and endurance, depending on the patient’s progress.

How to Perform

  • Supervised Sessions: Exercises are initially performed under the supervision of a physiotherapist in Edmonton to ensure correct technique and to adjust the intensity as needed.
  • Progression: The program gradually progressed to challenge the shoulder appropriately while avoiding overexertion, which could lead to re-injury.

3. Heat and Cold Therapy

Utilizing heat and cold therapies can provide significant benefits in managing shoulder pain by modulating the pain signals and enhancing muscle relaxation.

Cold Therapy

  • Application: Cold packs or ice massages are applied directly to the shoulder, especially after exercises or if there is acute inflammation.
  • It minimizes inflammation and provides a numbing effect that can help manage acute pain effectively.

Heat Therapy

  • Application: Heat pads, towels, or baths can apply heat to the shoulder. This is particularly useful for chronic, stiff, or sore shoulder conditions.
  • Heat therapy helps relax and loosen the tissues and stimulates blood circulation, aiding in healing and reducing stiffness.

4. Electrotherapy

Electrotherapy is a key component in physiotherapy for treating shoulder pain. It leverages technologies like TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) and ultrasound therapy to relieve pain and heal muscles.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

  • Procedure: A TENS unit delivers low-voltage electrical currents through electrodes placed on the skin near the area of pain in the shoulder.
  • How It Works: These electrical pulses interfere with the pain signals transmitted to the grey calls and help activate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
  • Application: The intensity and frequency of the pulses will be modified to suit the patient’s comfort level. Depending on the severity of the pain, they are typically used for 15-30 minutes per session.

Ultrasound Therapy

  • Procedure: This method uses sound waves produced by a transducer head that is moved over the shoulder surface covered with a conductive gel.
  • How It Works: The sound waves penetrate the tissues and create a gentle heating effect that helps to reduce muscle spasms, increase blood flow, and speed up the healing process.
  • Application: Ultrasound settings are adjusted to control the depth and intensity of the wave penetration, often varying based on the specific muscle or tissue being targeted.

5. Taping

Kinesiology taping is often used to support and relieve shoulder pain. The tape provides both physical and neurological support, helping to minimize pain and improve muscle function.

How to Perform

  • Preparation: The skin should be clean and dry before tape application. Any lotions or oils must be removed to ensure the tape adheres properly.
  • Application:
    1. Anchor Point: The tape usually starts from an anchor point with no stretch. This is typically at the base of the muscle, where minimal movement occurs.
    2. Tape Application: The physiotherapist will stretch the tape and the patient’s skin, depending on the desired effect. For shoulder applications, the tape may be applied from the upper arm across the deltoid muscle towards the upper back or chest, depending on the specific muscles and movements that need support.
    3. Rub to Activate: After application, the tape is rubbed to activate the heat-sensitive glue for better adhesion.

Physiotherapy in Edmonton emphasizes a comprehensive care approach, integrating various techniques to provide the best outcomes for shoulder pain treatment. 

Regain Mobility and Comfort

At Vertex Physiotherapy, we are dedicated to providing top-notch physiotherapy in Edmonton, helping you find effective solutions to your shoulder pain. Our skilled therapists utilize a range of proven techniques that not only alleviate pain but also focus on preventing future issues. Whether you’re struggling with an acute injury or chronic discomfort, our personalized treatment plans are designed to address your specific needs and goals.

If you’re searching for ‘physiotherapy near me’ and need relief from shoulder pain, contact Vertex Physiotherapy today to schedule a consultation. 

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