Shoulder Specialist in Visalia – What Rotator Cuff Patients Need to Know

If you are looking for a shoulder specialist in Visalia, because of a rotator cuff injury (a common cause of shoulder pain), seeing a physical therapist first can help you avoid unnecessary treatments like surgery.  This article provides common sense reasoning as to why we can help.

What’s the Rotator Cuff ?

You’ve probably at least heard of the rotator cuff—especially if you play or watch sports—but what you may not know is just how important of a structure it is. The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons in the shoulder joint that allows the arm to lift and rotate.  In addition to permitting movement, it also stabilizes the shoulder and helps the joint maintain good alignment and posture during many daily activities.  So any time you experience one of the countless displays of flexibility in your shoulder, you have your rotator cuff to thank.

Because the rotator cuff serves such an important role and is used so frequently, it’s also a common site of injury.  Injuries to the rotator cuff most often occur in people who repeatedly perform overhead motions in their profession or recreational activities. Some examples of those affected by rotator cuff injuries include painters, carpenters and athletes involved in tennis, baseball—especially pitchers—and swimming.

Repeated Overhead Activity Leads to Injury Which Might Mean You Need to See a Rotator Cuff Rehab Specialist

When these activities are performed regularly for a long period of time—or through the aging process—the rotator cuff tendons eventually become inflamed from over-stretching or repetitive stress, which can lead to pain or injury.  The most common injuries seen are rotator cuff tendinitis (or shoulder impingement), shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tears.  The primary symptoms of a rotator cuff injury is a dull ache deep in the shoulder that makes it difficult to reach behind the back or lift the arm.

To investigate just how many people in the general population have rotator cuff injuries, one study (click for the reference) examined the shoulders of 683 individuals, some of which had shoulder pain and others who did not. This is what they found:

  • Overall, 20.7% of participants had a rotator cuff tear
  • 36% of participants with shoulder symptoms had a rotator cuff tear
  • 16.9% of participants without shoulder symptoms had a rotator cuff tear
  • The risk factors for a rotator cuff tear were trauma to the arm and older age

This study shows that rotator cuff tears are very common, and in many cases, a tear may exist even if the individual does not have should pain or other symptoms. Unfortunately, if you have a rotator cuff injury and go to a doctor first for an evaluation, there’s a chance that you may be instructed to have unnecessary treatments like an injection or surgery if they find a tear. But as you can see, tears are present in many people who aren’t even in pain, and surgery is rarely needed to treat it. Surgery is also very risky and expensive.

Why Seeing a Physical Therapist First Makes Perfect Sense…

On the other hand, if you see a physical therapist for your rotator cuff injury first, in most cases they will treat you right away regardless of whether or not you have a tear. As a result, you can begin your path to recovery through various exercises, manual treatments and other interventions during your first session, while avoiding expensive and potentially dangerous treatments in the process.

So if your shoulder is bothering you and preventing you from functioning normally, make the smart choice of seeing a physical therapist first for the best possible outcome.

Click here to visit our Contact Page, then give us a call to learn more about how we can help.

Visalia Headache Specialist Near Me


Overcome your frustrating headaches with the help of a Visalia headache specialists … one of our expert trained physical therapists here at Bacci & Glinn Physical Therapy.

Frequent headaches can sure throw a wrench in your spokes, and most of us know how they can interfere with our ability to function normally.  But for the 45 million Americans with chronic headaches, this inconvenience doesn’t just come and go every so often.  Instead, headaches are a regular occurrence that can strike them any time.

Over 100 different types of headaches have been classified, but they are all generally categorized as either primary or secondary.  A primary headache simply means the headache itself is the disorder, while secondary headaches result from other conditions like a neck strain, TMJ muscle disorder, stroke, infection or head injury.

Most headaches are caused by a combination of factors, and different triggers can set off headaches in different people.  Some of the more common causes of primary headaches include stress, anxiety, lack of physical activity, bad sleeping habits, certain medications, poor diet and bad posture.  In every case, it’s important to determine the type of headache first before attempting to treat it.

Headaches Often Respond Favorably to Physical Therapist Directed Treatment

No single treatment exists that’s capable of eliminating all headaches, but all types are treatable.  While many people reach for pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen when a headache hits, these drugs don’t offer a long-term solution to the problem and may not even work for some individuals.  Physical therapy, on the other hand, is designed to identify the problem that’s causing the headache and then address it with a variety of interventions.

A physical therapy treatment program for chronic headaches will usually include some of the following components:

  • Soft tissue mobilization: rhythmic soft-tissue stretching of the neck and upper back muscles
  • LightForce™ laser therapy: the 15 Watt therapeutic laser facilitates pain relief
  • Neck mobilization: manual technique to gently move joints of the neck
  • Strengthening exercises: to increase strength of the muscles that stabilize the upper back and neck
  • Stretching exercises: to increase range of motion to tight muscles in the neck, chest, and upper back
  • Posture education: making slight modifications to the home or office to improve overall spinal posture, reduce stress and increase body awareness

Clinically Proven Headache Treatment for Visalia Residents

Research has shown that physical therapy can be effective for helping patients with headaches to improve, like this recent study, which concludes:

Compared with usual care, participants receiving physiotherapy reported significant reductions in headache frequency immediately after treatment (mean difference -1.6 days, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.5 to -0.6), at 6-month follow-up (-1.7 days, 95% CI -2.6 to -0.8), and at 9-month follow-up (-2.4 days, 95% CI -3.2 to -1.5), and significant improvements in all secondary outcomes immediately posttreatment and at 6- and 9-month follow-ups, (p<.05 for all). No adverse events were reported.

CONCLUSIONS:Physiotherapy treatment provided benefits over usual care for seniors with recurrent headache associated with neck pain and dysfunction.  Reference:

Headaches may be nuisance to your daily life, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  Contact our physical therapy team for a complete evaluation of your condition and a personalized treatment program that will address your issues and reduce the occurrence of these bothersome episodes.  Click here to for contact information that’s right on our home page.


Looking for Shoulder Pain Treatment in Visalia?

When you are looking for shoulder pain treatment in Visalia, physical therapy is your best bet to help you bounce back!

The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body, and it allows the arm to move in wide range of directions so that we can perform many of the dexterous tasks needed in daily life.  Unfortunately, this extreme flexibility comes at a price, as certain movements, postures and habits can cause damage to the shoulder and result in pain.

The shoulder is not actually a single joint, but a ball-and-socket made up of two joints, which combine with other structures in the region to allow the arm to move as it does.  Just about every movement that requires the use of our arms also involves the shoulder in some way, and it’s particularly important for reaching tasks and overhead activities.

Shoulder pain includes any pain that arises in or around the shoulder.  It may originate in the joints themselves or from any of the surrounding muscles, ligaments or tendons that make up the shoulder.  Most shoulder problems that result in pain are due to a tear or inflammation of a tendon, instability, arthritis or a fracture.  One of the most common causes of shoulder pain is when the tendons of the rotator cuff—an important structure that keeps the shoulder in place—become trapped under a bony area of the shoulder, which is called rotator cuff tendinitis.  Other conditions that can cause shoulder pain include shoulder impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder, tendinitis and bursitis.

NOTE: Quick Reference Guide to Shoulder Conditions We Treat

People who perform lots of overhead activities on a regular basis like painters, carpenters swimmers and baseball players are all at an increased risk for developing shoulder pain, and bad posture can lead to its development as well.  Most shoulder pain will dissipate within a few weeks with some rest and avoidance of activities that may aggravate it, but for pain that’s more severe or lingers for awhile, physical therapy may be necessary.  Physical therapy is one of the most proven effective methods to treat all types of shoulder pain, and treatment typically consists of the following:

  • Heat, ice, massage and other pain-relieving remedies
  • Stretching exercises to improve flexibility
  • Strengthening exercises to build back strength
  • Posture training for sitting and standing
  • Activity modification to help you avoid movements that make the pain worse

The use of physical therapy to treat shoulder pain is also supported in the medical literature as an effective way to foster improvements.  In one recent study on subacromial pain syndrome, another term for shoulder impingement syndrome, the conclusion states:

Exercise therapy should be the first-line treatment to improve pain, function and range of motion. The addition of mobilizations to exercises may accelerate reduction of pain in the short term.

Shoulder pain can be a real inconvenience, especially if it prevents you from participating in sports, but we are here to help.  Contact us to find out how we can address your shoulder pain and get you back to full strength as quickly and safely as possible.