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Shoulder Pain, Injury, Bursitis, Arthritis & Rotator Cuff Tear

Shoulder injuries are becoming more common.  Most people are surprised at how debilitating a shoulder injury can become.  An injured shoulder can affect all aspects of your life, making it difficult to sleep, work or play.

Aging, repetitive strain, sports injuries, bursitis and arthritis are the main factors for the increased number of people with shoulder pain. It is important to treat shoulder injuries as soon as possible after an injury occurs.  Left untreated, a shoulder injury can become chronic and may even develop into a frozen shoulder. 

Untreated rotator cuff tears can take up to nine months to repair on their own.  An untreated rotator cuff injury can result in a permanent loss of range of motion and a weak shoulder joint that is prone to re-injury.  

With our Shoulder Treatment Program we can reduce the recovery period for most shoulder injuries, while returning you to pain free living. 

If you are suffering from chronic or other inflammatory conditions, we can help you reduce the inflammation and pain associated with your shoulder problem.

Why Try Physiotherapy First?

Physiotherapists are highly trained to identify the faulty moving components, weak or tight muscles and muscle imbalances. Your physiotherapist will work with you to restore normal range of motion and strengthen the joint.

The goal of physiotherapy is to restore normal function, flexibility and strength in the muscles and joints.  This allows the joint to move as feely as possible which allows you to use your shoulder normally again, without pain and discomfort.

How Will We Treat Your Shoulder Injury?

After completing an evaluation of your shoulder, we will most likely start with low intensity laser therapy.  Laser therapy is proven effective at reducing inflammation, swelling and pain.  In addition, laser therapy accelerates the repair process of injured muscles, tendons and ligaments while reducing the formation of scar tissue.

Hands-on manual therapies are specialized techniques performed by physiotherapists to relax muscles spasms, lengthen tight muscles, restore muscle balance, reduce pain and to improve motion of the shoulder joint itself. 

As your pain subsides, strengthening exercises are introduced to improve your body’s ability to stabilize and support your shoulder to make you stronger and more flexible.  With a strong flexible shoulder, you are less likely to have a re-injury.

Posture and body mechanics education helps you use safer positioning of your body during daily activities and can help you sleep more comfortably. This can aid your recovery and also help you prevent further injuries.

Types of Shoulder Injuries and Conditions We Treat

Rotator Cuff Tear, Repetitive Strain or Injury:

The rotator cuff refers to the muscles and soft tissues that hold the shoulder together and allow for an extensive range of motion. Most rotator cuff tears are partial tears and do not require surgery.  This is the most common type of shoulder injury and is very painful.  Usually rotator cuff tears are a result of an injury to the shoulder that happened during playing sports, a fall or an auto accident.  In recent years, the constant use of a mouse with the computer has increased the incidence of shoulder repetitive strain.                                 

Rotator cuff tears are painful and result in limitations in range of motion, restless sleep due to pain and discomfort.  Initially, the pain may be localized but can spread to the neck and back as postural changes occur due to the injury.  It is important not to immobilize the shoulder or use a sling for very long.  This can lead to a frozen shoulder which is a more serious condition.

Laser therapy and exercise therapy is very effective at healing rotator cuff tears and can prevent re-injury.  Rotator cuff tears can take up to nine months for full recovery.  Physiotherapy combined with laser therapy can substantially reduce that time. 

Acromio-Clavicular Joint (ACJ) Sprains

The AC joint sits between the outside end of the clavicle and the acromion of the shoulder blade.  A ligament connects the clavicle and the shoulder blade together.  A fall on the outside of the upper arm can damage this ligament.  A tearing of this ligament may result in joint distortion or the joint may become dislocated, (a completely separated joint).

ACJ sprains are graded from 1 to 3, with grade 3 sprains being most severe.  Low intensity laser therapy is effective at accelerating the healing of the torn ligament.  Laser therapy also reduces pain, inflammation and reduces scar tissue formation on the torn ligament.  By reducing the formation of scar tissue, the ACJ will be less prone to future injury.

Mobilization and exercise under the expert guidance of a physiotherapist is essential to full recovery.


Bursitis is an inflammation of the Bursa, a fluid filled sack that is located at sites where friction occurs, such as where tendons or muscles pass over bony prominences.  The bursae assist with normal movement and reduce friction between moving parts. 

Most bursitis occurs in the shoulder but may also occur in the hip, knee, elbow, ankle or foot.  Bursitis may be caused by trauma, overuse, arthritis or an infection.  Pain, swelling, tenderness and limited range of motion are common symptoms.


Arthritis can occur in the shoulder joint itself, similar to arthritic knees, backs or hips.  ‘Old’ or ‘chronic’ shoulder injuries can leave your shoulder prone to arthritis.

Tendinitis & Tenosynovitis:

Inflammation of a tendon (tendinitis) and the lining of the tendon sheath (tenosynovitis), usually occur simultaneously.  The tendon sheath is usually the site of maximum inflammation.  The enclosed tendon may also become inflamed as a result of a calcium deposit (calcified tendinitis) or repetitive strain.

Tendinitis and Tenosynovitis usually occurs in mid and older age groups or as a result of repetitive mircrotrauma, trauma or excessive exercise. Surgery is rarely required.

Post Surgical Repair:

Physiotherapy is usually required after surgery to fully heal the joint, restore normal shoulder function and reduce pain. Re-attached tendons, muscles or arthroscopy heal faster with laser therapy and reduce the build up of scar tissue.  Artificial joints, screws and plates are unaffected by laser therapy. 

How long will it take me to recover from my Shoulder Injury?

With LightSpeed’s combined laser therapy and active therapy program, most people recover from their shoulder injury or problem in three to six weeks.  These times will vary on as a result of a number of factors.  Your LightSpeed registered physiotherapist can assess your shoulder and help you plan your treatment program to optimize your recovery.

See what people have to say about our Shoulder Treatment Program!  Read their testimonials

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Contact Information                                                               Clinic Hours

Telephone: 905-823-2226                                                                         Monday, Wednesday & Friday 9 am to 6 pm
FAX:           905-823-2933                                                                         Tuesday & Thursday 11 am to 7 pm
                                                                                                              Saturday 9 am to 12 pm
Location:  Sheridan Centre, 2225 Erin Mills Parkway, Mississauga, ON L5K 1T9
         One block north of the QEW on Erin Mills Parkway
         We are located in the lower level of the mall, by the library
Copyright © 2008 LightSpeed Physiotherapy Inc.
Last modified: 06/16/08