Shouldering your spring cleaning

By Colleen Sleik

Many people attack their yearly spring cleaning ritual in the months of March and April. With thousands thawing from winter’s cold, there are bound to be some sore, stiff muscles. The National Safety Council reports that approximately 21 million people visit the emergency room as a result of home injuries. One of the most common complaints is shoulder pain.

Spring cleaning involves a lot of over-the-head motion and lifting that results in pain and discomfort for some. Physical therapists have successful outcomes treating shoulder impingement, which is the result of a sudden spike in use of a shoulder joint that is under-exercised or under-utilized.

As your activity levels increase with the onset of spring weather, be aware of the signs and symptoms associated with shoulder impingement including:

– Pain with pushing, pulling, or carrying heavy objects.

– Pain when performing an overhead activity.

– Pain during or after exercise.

– Fear of putting the shoulder in certain positions.

– Clicking and popping sensations with movement.

– Weakness when performing athletic movements, especially overhead and away from the body.

– Loss of performance ability in sport activities.

– Fatigue with repetitive activity.

Many people ignore or discount the common complaints that come with shoulder impingement. Rather than living with limited mobility and shoulder pain, consult your physical therapist for personalized treatment plans. Lack of attention to the pain could lead to more serious problems such as rotator cuff tears. Proper treatment is crucial.

A physical therapist can assess your muscles, joints, and movements to recommend proper stretches, exercises and activities to avoid injury and improve your level of fitness.

For more information, contact Focus on Function Physical Therapy at 779-9487.