Shoulder pain is a common medical condition affecting millions of people annually. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, overuse, and age-related degeneration. Fortunately, physiotherapy is an effective treatment for the shoulder pain that can help to reduce pain and improve mobility. 

In this article, we will discuss six of the most common causes of shoulder pain and the physiotherapy treatments that can help. 

  1. Rotator Cuff Injury

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles and tendons that help keep the shoulder stable and in its socket. It is common for these muscles and tendons to become strained, torn or inflamed, leading to shoulder pain. 

Physiotherapy can help to decrease pain and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles and improve mobility in the shoulder joint. Exercises like wall slides, pendulum swings and shoulder blade squeezes can be used to help improve the range of motion and reduce pain. 

  1. Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects the shoulder joint. It can lead to pain, swelling, stiffness and decreased range of motion in the shoulder. 

Physiotherapy can help reduce pain and improve the range of motion by helping to strengthen the muscles around the joint, improving flexibility and correcting faulty movement patterns. 

Heat and ice therapy, electrical stimulation, taping, and manual therapy are some of the modalities that can be used to help alleviate pain. 

  1. Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is an inflammatory condition that causes the shoulder joint to become stiff and painful. 

Physiotherapy can help to reduce pain and improve the range of motion by using a combination of stretching, strengthening, manual therapy and therapeutic exercise. 

Heat and ice therapy can also be used to help reduce inflammation and pain. 

  1. Impingement

Shoulder impingement is caused by the rotator cuff muscles and tendons becoming compressed between the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone. This can lead to shoulder pain and decreased range of motion. 

Physiotherapy can help to reduce impingement by strengthening the rotator cuff muscles and stretching the shoulder joint. Manual therapy can also be used to help reduce pain and improve the range of motion.

  1. Bursitis

Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, which is a small fluid-filled sac that cushions and lubricates the shoulder joint. Bursitis can cause pain and limited mobility in the shoulder joint. Physiotherapy treatments for bursitis include stretches, strengthening exercises, ultrasound and manual therapy.  

  1. Shoulder Instability

Shoulder instability is when the shoulder joint becomes loose and unstable, causing pain and reduced mobility. Physiotherapy treatment for shoulder instability includes stretching and strengthening exercises to improve the range of motion, as well as manual techniques such as massage and joint mobilization to reduce inflammation and improve the function of the shoulder joint. 


Overall, shoulder pain can be a debilitating condition that anyone can experience. While a range of different injuries often causes it, six main causes of shoulder pain can be identified. These include rotator cuff injury, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, impingement syndrome, bursitis, and shoulder instability.

Physiotherapy is an effective way to manage shoulder pain, as it can help to reduce inflammation, improve range of motion and strength, and provide support and guidance. 

If you’re suffering from shoulder pain in Whitehorse, don’t hesitate to contact Whitehorse Physiotherapy. We’re here to help you get better quickly and get back to doing the things you love. Schedule an appointment today and start your journey to recovery!

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