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Shoulder Pain

Pain arising from the shoulder region is often poorly localised and not only  felt  in the region of the shoulder but also in the upper arm. Some common causes of shoulder pain are listed below:

Bursitis

The bursa in the shoulder (also known as the subacromial bursa) is a fluid filled sac that rests between the shoulder tendons and the arch of the shoulder blade called the acromion. Its role is to reduce the chances of friction between the shoulder tendons and the overlying acromion bone.

Often the space the bursa sits in (the subacromial space) becomes reduced in size. This occurs when the arm is elevated, but can also occur because of poor posture. This can lead to mechanical impingement of the bursa and result in the bursa becoming inflamed.

What can Physiotherapy Do?

Physiotherapists are experts at assessing the shoulder to diagnose bursitis. Treatment will focus on exercise prescription and education regarding postural improvement with a focus on strengthening specific muscle groups. If symtpoms are quite severe, physiotherapists will generally refer the patient on to a sports physician or radiologist for a cortisone injection in and around the bursa so as to settle down the inflammation before physiotherapy commences.

 

Shoulder Tendinopathy and Rotator Cuff Problems

The rotator cuff tendons can become degenerative with throwing sports such as baseball and javelin.  The rotator cuff tendons also deteriorate with age.

What Can Physiotherapy Do?
Physiotherapy can help with shoulder tendinopathy by providing specific rehabilitation exercises and hands on loosening techniques to tight joints and muscles.

 

Frozen Shoulder

The medical name for a frozen shoulder is "Adhesive Capsulitis". The capsule surrounding the shoulder becomes inflamed and contracts which then progressively restricts the range of motion of the joint.

What Can Physiotherapy Do?

In mild to moderate cases physiotherapy can be an effective part of treatment to stretch out the capsule and provide range of movement exercises. Often a cortisone injection is also required. The condition will generally take 1-2 years to fully resolve but milder cases can recover in just a few months.