One of the most common complaints in our clinic is shoulder pain. This is because we use our arms all day everyday for a wide range of different activities from lifting to throwing, from driving to picking up our children, and over time unfortunately our shoulders do suffer from wear and tear.
The shoulder is a cartilage covered ball and socket joint, that is surrounded by a complex series of ligaments and muscles, to support this unstable commonly overworked joint. Any of these structures can become injured or pain provoking, from an acute injury, for example a rugby tackle or bench press, or from repetitive strain or overuse with many sports or overhead work activities. This can start a cascade of inflammatory events, resulting in pain, weakness, loss of range of motion, and muscle spasm, overall limiting your ability to function with normal activities of daily living.
How Physio mechanics can help:
If left untreated minor shoulder injuries can cause long term complications. Physio mechanics can help. On your first visit we will perform a thorough initial assessment allowing us to confirm your diagnosis and answer any questions you have. From there we will devise an individualised short term treatment plan to relieve your current symptoms, and a long term plan to prevent future reoccurrences. Common shoulder physio treatments include massage, trigger point release, shoulder joint mobilisations, tendon frictioning, postural/muscle balancing education, K taping, and stretching and strengthening exercises. If you are suffering from any shoulder aches or pains ring today and arrange an appointment with one of our expert staff.
Some common shoulder injuries we treat are .....
Rotator cuff sprain/tear – Our rotator cuff is a series of 5 muscles that surround the front and back of our shoulder blade and inserts onto the side of the upper arm. They work together to stabilise the shoulder joint and encourage movement in all directions. However when an acute injury occurs at the shoulder like a fall onto an outstretched arm, one or more of the rotator cuff muscles can get stretched and inflamed (rotator cuff sprain), some fibres can be torn (rotator cuff partial tear) or there can be complete disruption of that muscle (full thickness tear). Physiotherapy will accelerate healing with all three presentations, but in depth assessment is required as some presentations may need further intervention including cortisone injection or surgical intervention – both of which physio mechanics can help you with.
Shoulder impingement – In our shoulder we have a bony tunnel created from the AC joint on top (end of our collarbone) and the shoulder joint below. Through here runs a rotator cuff tendon and a bursa (fluid sac that prevents frictional rubbing between bone and tendon). With acute injury, such as a fall or a sudden jar at an awkward angle, this tunnel can be pinched. With repetitive overuse in awkward angles, such as bench press or overhead painting, the contents of the tunnel can get inflamed and therefore thicken. Both presentations will cause narrowing of the tunnel and compression of the tendon and bursa, causing pain and restriction and what is known as shoulder impingement.
Frozen shoulder – frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, is a very unfortunate presentation where the capsule of connective tissue surrounding the ball and socket joint significantly tightens, resulting in severe movement restriction at the shoulder. People suffering from frozen shoulder usually cannot lift their arm above their head or behind their back, and when they do lift their arm, the whole shoulder complex will look stiff and move as one. There remains no known cause to how and why this happens, but research has shown that it more commonly affects middle age woman, diabetes sufferers and more so occurs following an injury that has led to reduced movement at the shoulder.
AC joint sprain – the AC joint is located on top of our shoulders and is the connection between the acromion and clavicle. The most common causes of these injuries are rugby falls, repetitive movements across the front of your body, for example painting, or bench pressing in the gym. These movements all compress the ACJ, causing irritation, inflammation and therefore subsequent pain.