Shoulder pain is a common problem and the here are many things that can cause it. Pain often occurs when rotator cuff tendons become trapped under the bony area in the shoulder, sometimes called an impingement. The tendons can also become inflamed or damaged, and this condition is called a rotator cuff tendinopathy or bursitis, resulting in painful shoulder movements.
Athletes who make repetitive overhead movements, including swimmers, tennis players, throwers, and weightlifters, are at a high risk of developing these conditions. However, these injuries can also affect those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.
– Pain deep in the shoulder joint
– Reduced movement and discomfort when moving your shoulder
– Pins and needles feeling
– Lack of movement, difficulty moving or a feeling of ‘looseness’ in the joint
Once the injury is suspected it is important to confirm the exact nature of the injury, as treatment can vary depending on the specific structure. The Physiotherapist will be able to distinguish between structures and guide you through the rehab process.
Researchers have concluded that there are essentially 7 stages of therapy that need to be covered to effectively rehabilitate these injuries and prevent recurrence.
– Early Injury: Protection, Pain Relief & Anti-inflammatory Treatment
– Regain Full Shoulder Range of Motion
– Restore Scapular Control and Scapulohumeral Rhythm
– Regain Normal Neck-Scapulo-Thoracic-Shoulder Function
– Restore Rotator Cuff Strength
– Rehabilitate High Speed, Power, Proprioception and Agility Exercises
– Return to Sport and/or Work
Alongside the above 7 stages, it is very important to have your soft-tissue worked on throughout. During any shoulder injury you will develop imbalances and tightness in surrounding muscles. Physiotherapy and Sports Massage would be ideal to combat this.
Shoulder pain can typically be diagnosed by a Physiotherapist through a series of questioning and physical tests.
However, in some cases an ultrasound scan, x-ray or MRI scan can also be useful to diagnose an impingement and to detect any associated injuries, such as Shoulder Bursitis, Rotator-cuff tears, or Shoulder Tendinopathy.
– Pain is experienced when the arm is used for overhead activities and is lifted above the horizontal plane
– Shoulder pain that can extend from the top of the shoulder to the elbow
– Pain when lying on the affected shoulder
– Shoulder pain at rest as your condition deteriorates
– Muscle weakness or pain when attempting to reach or lift
– Pain when putting your hand behind your back or head
– Pain reaching for the seat-belt
Your shoulder shouldn’t feel stiff. If it is, you may have frozen shoulder.
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