Shoulder pain is a common problem seen by physiotherapists. The shoulder joint is vulnerable to mechanical problems because it is under high demand with most daily activity, has the most moving parts and the greatest range of motion of any joint in the body. The shoulder has a very small joint contact zone making it relatively unstable compared to other joints so it is vital to have strong shoulder muscles to achieve a normal functioning shoulder.
The shoulder joint is one of the most flexible joints in the body, being able to rotate the arm in all directions. Due to this flexibility the shoulder joint is quite susceptible to injuries from overuse, posture issues, trauma and poor mechanics. The most common shoulder injuries can include:
● Arthritis from wear and tear
● Rotator cuff impingement
● Rotator cuff tear
● Frozen shoulder
● Dislocated shoulder
● Myalgia (muscle pain)
● Shoulder bursitis
Injuries to the shoulder can occur from many different daily activities, but one of the most common causes of shoulder pain is from tasks that require repetition. A repetitive activity or action using your shoulder can put extra strain on the joint. To prevent an injury, it’s best to minimise or control repetitive activities involving the shoulder, or at the least, making sure to have regular breaks for recovery. This also includes repetitive or sustained overhead activity where the arms spend extended amounts of time over the head. Some of these repetitive activities which can put excessive strain on the shoulder include:
● Tennis serving
● Cricket bowling
A shoulder injury can be very painful and interfere with daily activities if not treated properly. Shoulder physio can be very effective and treatment involves a range of options including, hands on manual treatment, stretching and strengthening exercises, movement pattern retraining and dry needling. Shoulder physio Perth aims to reduce pain and inflammation, strengthen the shoulder muscles, and restore full function and movement to the shoulder joint.
Physiotherapy can help with the treatment and rehabilitation of shoulder injuries. Physio helps to reduce pain and increase shoulder function. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis through a qualified physio. A thorough assessment will be done before beginning a treatment plan.
Initially your physio may suggest rest and ice to help with reducing pain or inflammation, depending on the diagnosis. Also, you may be asked to avoid some movements which cause, or aggravate the pain. As the pain settles, a rehabilitation program can begin which may include stretching, strengthening and movement re-education to re-establish normal shoulder function. Some of the physio treatments for a shoulder injury can include the following:
● Manual therapy: helps to reduce pain and improve shoulder function.
● Massage: to reduce muscle tension and fatigue which contribute to shoulder pain.
● Dry needling: this can help to reduce pain, joint stiffness and tension in the muscles.
● Strength training: helps to improve posture and increase strength which assists with recovery and prevents further injury.
It is ideal to seek treatment as early as possible for a shoulder injury. The sooner treatment begins, the less time it will take to recover, and waiting too long may extend the rehabilitation time.
Shoulder pain can be debilitating and have an effect on many areas of your life. A physiotherapist near you can assess the cause and severity of the injury and create a customised treatment plan to restore normal function and the ability to resume normal daily activities.