Shoulder Pain Treatment

The shoulder joint is very special because it is the most mobile and versatile joint in the body giving us great reaching and lifting ability; and is therefore very reliant on strong, efficient and coordinated muscles controlling it. Some of these muscles attach to the arm, the shoulder blade the rib cage and the neck … and as a result shoulder pain can affect the arm, trunk and neck. If you are experiencing this sort of pain, finding the best shoulder pain treatment that suits you is imperative.

Shoulder pain is a term that relates to pain around the front, sides and back of the shoulder. It can also extend into the arm and neck.

How common is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is very common and it can affect up to 70% of people at some time in their lives. It can be very limiting and distressing affecting many aspects of daily living such as sleeping, self-care, house hold activities, work and recreation.

Common diagnostic labels for shoulder pain are rotator cuff tear or rupture, rotator cuff tendinopathy, labral tear, subacromial bursitis, subacromial impingement, shoulder arthritis, frozen shoulder and acromio-clavicular joint pain.

Risk factors for shoulder pain

Shoulder pain can occur from an injury such as a heavy fall on the arm. In these situations, if the pain is severe and there is a loss of power in the arm, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out a fracture or tendon rupture.

Shoulder pain can also occur from repeated or sustained use – especially when the shoulder isn’t conditioned to the task – such as cutting the hedge over-head, sporting activities such as tennis, swimming, cricket and throwing sports. The resulting pain can be severe due to inflammation and sensitivity of the shoulder structures, however there is usually no need to scan the shoulder if there is no history of trauma.

Shoulder pain can also occur when a person is deconditioned, carrying extra weight (especially around the belly) and their general health is poor and these factors can make a person more vulnerable to pain.

Myths about shoulder pain

Facts about shoulder pain

Approaching shoulder pain

There is strong evidence that physiotherapy is effective as first line treatment of shoulder pain once serious injury such as a fracture or traumatic tendon rupture has been ruled out. If you have developed shoulder pain over time we can help identify the key factors related to it and build a plan to get you back to full capacity.

Assessment of shoulder pain

We first undertake a comprehensive history in order to hear your story, how the shoulder pain began and how it impacts on all aspects of your life.

We will also screen for serious causes of shoulder pain.

We can diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain and determine whether you need a scan or not

We will then perform a comprehensive examination of the shoulder and surrounding regions. We are most interested in the postures and activities that you find restricting. This includes an assessment of:

Treatment of shoulder pain

Based on all this information we will then explain to you in simple language, where the pain is coming from, the factors that are contributing to your pain, and discuss the best treatments options available to you.

Physiotherapists at Body Logic Physiotherapy can first help identify the main contributing factors associated with your shoulder pain. Based on this they will develop a plan that may involve a range of strategies to assist with things such as getting your shoulder moving, reducing pain and getting it stronger.
This may involve hands-on therapies for a short period and will always involve exercise.

Sometimes it is scary to get a painful shoulder moving and we can provide you strategies to move which minimise discomfort.

It is also important to know that it is safe to get active physiotherapy even in the presence of the following diagnoses: rotator cuff tear, rotator cuff tendinopathy, labral tear, subacromial bursitis, subacromial impingement, shoulder arthritis, frozen shoulder and acromio-clavicular joint pain.

Shoulders need movement and strength to stay healthy, so setting up a graduated plan to get active is very important.

Other strategies known to be effective in treating shoulder pain include: improving sleep, stress management and engaging in regular physical activity.
In some cases where shoulder pain is very distressing and disabling, working with other health care practitioners may be important for your shoulder pain treatment needs.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, or for any other condition or service, get in touch with our friendly team today!