You may not think about them often, but your shoulders are actually crucial in helping you complete daily tasks. This is because the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body which allows for a very wide range of movements. If you have ever suffered from shoulder pain, then you know how inhibiting it can be and that it can make everyday activities difficult and painful very quickly. Shoulder pain can be caused by a number of different factors and can be related to other issues like neck pain or poor posture. If you are noticing that simple everyday activities like reaching for a pot in the kitchen or moving a laundry basket into a bedroom are causing you pain, it is time to seek physiotherapy help. Continue reading today’s blog to learn about some common shoulder pain causes and symptoms and how Absolute Rehab’s physiotherapy treatments can help!

Common Causes

There are many different factors that can contribute to shoulder pain; it can be a result of:

  • Weakness of the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff consists of muscles that help rotate and lift your arm away from the body. These muscles are prone to inflammation and tears during overhead activities or simply due to wear and tear.
  • Weakness of the shoulder blade muscles. Your shoulder blade is a large triangular-shaped bone that sits in your upper back and is surrounded by a complex system of muscles that work together to help move your arm. Weakness in any of the muscles attaching to the shoulder blade can affect how the shoulder joint functions.
  • Frozen Shoulder. The shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint that holds your shoulder in place and allows for the circular rotation and hinging out of your arm. A stiff shoulder joint (AKA Frozen Shoulder) occurs when the tissue surrounding this joint, called the shoulder capsule, becomes so thick and tight that it’s hard to move.
  • Bursitis Shoulder. There is a tiny, fluid-filled sac called a bursa that sits inside each of your shoulders and helps reduce friction between the bones in your joints. Also known as impingement syndrome, this pain occurs when the bursa in your shoulder becomes inflamed, meaning there is swelling and redness between the top of the arm bone and the tip of the shoulder.
  • Imbalances between shoulder muscle groups. Muscle imbalance occurs when the relationship between the tone, strength, and length of the muscles around a joint becomes altered. For the shoulder muscle groups, this often manifests when the front of the shoulder and chest become stronger and shortened in relation to the muscles in the back of the shoulder, resulting in poor arm and shoulder blade movement.
  • Poor posture. Posture impacts the positioning of your shoulder blades and arms as they raise, how efficient your shoulder muscles are and how they work together, and how much space is available for movement at the shoulder. Slouching, along with too much time spent sitting down, will eventually alter how your shoulder blades move.
  • Trauma, injury, or previous shoulder surgery.

Common Symptoms

Shoulder pain also has a variety of symptoms that may be caused by the shoulder joint itself or from any of the many surrounding muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Remember that even if you would describe your symptoms as minimal or intermittent, they can quickly progress to a more constant ache if you do not seek treatment. Some common symptoms include, the obvious pain or stiffness in your shoulder, a limited range of motion that make performing daily tasks difficult, loss of strength in your shoulder or the surrounding area, difficulty placing your arm behind your back, and restless sleep due to shoulder aching that disrupts your sleeping posture.

How Physiotherapy Can Help

At Absolute Rehab we want to provide you with the best shoulder pain treatment available. If your pain is impacting your daily activities and is persisting, we have multiple services to help you understand your pain and how to reduce it. Below is an explanation of how some of our treatments can help manage your pain and improve your shoulder strength.


Physiotherapy studies the movement of the body and its function while providing solutions on how to restore the body’s movement through gentle exercises that strengthen muscles. Our physiotherapists have an advanced understanding of how to restore mobility in the shoulder, how the shoulder moves, and what keeps the shoulder in motion. One of our practitioners will assess and treat your shoulder mobility problems and provide ongoing management solutions. We can provide you with education on avoiding inappropriate and provoking positions, as well as important strengthening, posture, and mobility exercises to help your shoulder recovery. Our Physiotherapy Treatment Plan can be very successful in easing shoulder pain symptoms through regular sessions at our Waterloo facility in addition to physiotherapy exercises to do at home (depending on your ability to do so).


Osteopathy is a form of manual, hands-on therapy that can help with shoulder mobilization. It is based on an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the body that is applied to find and address the root cause of the issue. Our osteopathic treatment can be very successful in easing shoulder pain symptoms and can help you make a faster return to mobility and activity. This treatment uses manual palpation to assess the mobility, position, and vitality of the tissue to determine if any shoulder restrictions exist. Our osteopaths seek to identify the cause of the tension and use gentle non-invasive manual therapy to unlock your shoulder’s natural capacity for self-correction. This treatment is particularly helpful for Frozen Shoulder as manipulation of the shoulder joints can loosen up the soft tissues which will often reduce shoulder stiffness, reduce pain, and increase the range of movement.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a hands-on, non-invasive, health care discipline that concentrates on adjustments of the neuromusculoskeletal system, which can be related to your shoulder pain. Our chiropractors at Absolute Rehab provide diagnoses, treatments, and preventative care for shoulder pain, specifically in relation to joints. Chiropractors can investigate and locate any potential interference in your spinal vertebrae that may be causing compression of the nerves in your shoulder. As a part of your Chiropractic Treatment Plan, your Chiropractor will ask you to come in for adjustments as necessary. Often, you will also be prescribed therapeutic exercises to complete on a daily basis at home to aid in your recovery, or nutritional and lifestyle advice your Chiropractor thinks will be beneficial. While relief will begin after the first adjustment, a series of chiropractic adjustments may be required to help your shoulder pain issue to resolve completely.

You deserve the best shoulder pain treatment available! Give us a call at (519) 880-1733 to schedule your free consultation.

Want more lifestyle advice on how to improve your overall health and wellness? Contact our team at Absolute Rehab in Waterloo for more tips and don’t forget to view our other services that can help put you on the right track.