Shoulder Pain – What Can You Do?

| October 8, 2016 | 0 Comments

“It’s just my bad shoulder…..”

We’ve all heard someone say this as they rub their shoulder or when they need to get out of being a weekend warrior.

Painful and weak shoulders are a common thing. This may present as pain, weakness, reduced range of movement or any combination of these.

shoulder-pain

So what’s really happening?

How long is a piece of string?

Shoulders are complex joints!

Technically they are made of three joints;

Glenohumoural (GH: ‘proper shoulder joint’), scapulothoracic (ST: shoulder blade and ribs) and acromioclavicular (AC: collar bone joint). Along with this there are a number of ligaments that hold these joints together, cartilage to soften and smoothen the movement and associated muscles! Seventeen muscles attach to the shoulder blade alone!

The shoulder is an awesome joint as it has a huge range of motion. Unfortunately, this has been traded off for stability. Most of the stability in the shoulder is offered by the muscles in the area, namely the rotator cuff. Your rotator cuff is made up four muscles; subscapularis, teres minor, infraspinatus and supraspinatus (this is the most famous one). Any injury or imbalance of these muscles will greatly affect the function of the shoulder complex.

So what are the common things that can happen to the shoulders?

  • Joint syndromes including adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) and impingement syndrome. These will present with a reduced range of motion.
  • Muscular and tendon tears. This will commonly occur to those rotator cuff muscles and may be a result of a sudden injury or incorrect use over a long period of time.
  • Arthritis and degeneration. This is a wearing down of the joints and is common in older adults and those who have done a lot of heavy work. It most commonly affects the AC joint.

These may present in isolation or as a combination of issues. Shoulder pain can be a pain in the neck: literally! It’s also common to have associated neck, mid back and elbow pain that goes along with your shoulder complaint.

So what to do when your shoulder is making you blue?

Seek help as soon as it’s a bother. Getting on top of a shoulder complaint can be tricky as there is usually more than one component to it. Letting it go can just lead to more issues. Use your health team (muscle therapist, allied health practitioner, GP). They will assess, use tests and images and put together a plan so you can get back into the swing of whatever you love to do!

More questions about your shoulder?

The team @The Health Creation centre are always here to help! 52553411

Article by Christine Fraser

Osteopath

Health Creation Centre

Filed Under: Injuries / Recovery

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