Shoulder Pain

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Shoulder PainPainful shoulder conditions that limit movement are very common and are caused by injuries affecting the shoulder joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. As the shoulder has a high degree of flexibility, it is, therefore, less stable and more prone to injuries than other joints of the body.

Since the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as vertebral dysfunction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder.

Types of Shoulder Pain

Physiotherapists can assist with the following shoulder conditions:

  • Chronic shoulder pain and stiffness
  • Shoulder muscle spasm and tension
  • Rotator cuff disorders such as tears and strains
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Arthritis of the shoulder
  • Impingement syndrome
  • AC joint injury

In order to determine the cause of your pain, your physiotherapist will conduct a full physical, orthopaedic, and neurological examination of the shoulder together with the cervical and thoracic spine.

You will be asked to perform shoulder range of motion and muscle strength tests. Where the pain is felt, both at rest and during movement of the shoulder, provides important clues as to the cause of the shoulder pain.

It may also be necessary to undergo specialised diagnostic tests such as x-ray, ultrasound, and/or MRI scans.

Treatment of Shoulder Pain

The initial objective of all shoulder treatments is to relieve pain and inflammation. While many doctors will recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and swelling, the benefits obtained by applying ice-packs can be equally if not more beneficial.

As your shoulder begins to heal, it is vitally important to restore range of movement, and later to improve muscle strength so as to stabilise the shoulder and help prevent further injury and aggravation.

Your physiotherapist will be able to assist you with suitable shoulder range of motion exercises and shoulder strengthening and rehabilitation exercises during your recovery.

Please contact us for your comprehensive shoulder assessment. We look forward to hearing from you.