Why does my shoulder hurt?
Have you ever experienced sharp pain or dull ache in your shoulder, arm or neck when you trying to do your hair, lifting kettle, reaching for above your head, when you are putting on your jumper or coat, reaching across for the seat belt in your car or changing gear?
Shoulder is structurally and functionally complex joint and it is one of the most freely moveable joints in your body. Shoulder is made up of 3 bones - shoulder blade (scapula), upper arm bone (humerus) and collar bone (clavicle). Other important structures of the shoulder are labrum (a ring of cartilage around the shoulder socket making the socket deeper and more stable); rotator cuff (muscles and tendons that cover the top of the humerus helping to hold it in place and enable the arm to rotate); deltoid (the largest and strongest muscle of the shoulder providing the strength to lift the arm) and biceps tendon (connected to biceps muscle that makes elbow bend and the forearm rotate). An issue with any of these structures could be the cause of shoulder pain.
There can be many reason for shoulder pain and only through assessment often together with imaging (X-Rays, MRI, Ultrasound) will establish the cause.
The most common causes of shoulder pain or restriction include:
- muscles disbalance
- lack of stability in the joint
- shoulder injury after fall, car accident, sporting activity
What can be done to help relieve the shoulder pain?
Following full assessment including history of your issue, your vocational history and physical examination (posture and movement analysis, range of motion, strength and specialised shoulder tests, cervical spine examination) we will discuss your goal and make a treatment plan. The treatment can include a combination of the following:
- soft tissue work / myofascial release
- heat or cold treatment
- tailored exercise program to strengthen the weak muscles, stretch the tight / shortened muscles and work on improving posture and function
- DNS technique - particularly effective for shoulder girdle balance and stability
- neuromuscular therapy
- electrotherapy or ultrasound
- shoulder mobilisation, decompression
- dry needling
- ergonomic advise