Many of us, at some point in our lives, experience shoulder pain, probably because we’re either pushing the limits in our favourite sport or physical activity – or not observing proper posture while sitting at a desk or even sleeping in a not-so-good position. Physiotherapy for shoulder pain has been shown to be very effective in combating a variety of shoulder issues, no matter what the cause.
What is shoulder pain and why does it occur?
Shoulder pain is often described as either a quick and intermittent pain that can cause a sudden, sharp and uncomfortable sensation anywhere in the shoulder region, or a more constant and dull pain that can radiate down the arm. Throughout their lives, most people will experience shoulder pain in some form or the other, although many are not even aware that they have a “shoulder problem” until the pain becomes unbearable and they have to go see a physical therapist.
Nearly all shoulder aches and pains and shoulder injuries can be remedied through physical therapy.
We commonly see patients who have a problem with their rotator cuff muscles, such as rotator cuff tear or a rotator cuff injury such as a supraspinatus tendinopathy. Thankfully, most rotator cuff tears can be treated with physio alone.
A therapist specialising in physiotherapy for shoulder pain can easily determine the root cause of your shoulder pain, ache or discomfort, and then help you recover by taking you through a tailored exercise programme, which may also involve gentle massages and stretching. A complete ‘physiotherapy for shoulder pain’ examination will allow your therapist to assess the root cause of your shoulder pain, which may include:
- Weakness and/or instability in or around the rotator cuff and shoulder muscles/joints
- A stiff shoulder joint and/or weakness within the shoulder blade muscles
- Poor posture, causing too much tension between the muscles of the neck and shoulder
- An accident or physical trauma involving the arm or shoulder, such as a fall
- Imbalances between all the various shoulder muscle groups may upset its general groove or movement patterns
- Damage to the joints, cartilage or bony structures around the shoulder, either caused by a condition like arthritis or a sports injury
How physiotherapy for shoulder pain works
Your road to improved shoulder health and injury prevention begins with a ‘physiotherapy for shoulder pain’ exam. Your therapist will assess your shoulder musculature, which involves not just the shoulder, but also the scapula and neck, so that the key cause of your shoulder pain or discomfort may be determined.
During the exam, your physiotherapist may ask you to move your arm and neck in specific ways, to determine if any joints or bones are rubbing against each other or if you’re experiencing a limited range of motion during any of the regular movement patterns. They will do this in a safe and controlled way so as to not cause any discomfort, while also coming up with a complete diagnosis to create a tailored recovery programme for your shoulder condition. If you’re currently experiencing any discomfort, aches and pains or even strange ‘clicking’ in your shoulder, please don’t treat it lightly. The shoulder joint is one of the most heavily and commonly used joints and as such, requires proper care and rehabilitation, because it’s susceptible to a lot of injuries. Book an appointment with a certified physical therapist today to keep your shoulder health in check.