What is it?
Shoulder pain can present as discomfort experienced in the joint itself, into
the top of the arm or down to the elbow. There are many structures in the shoulder that can be affected. These may include;
- The small stabilising muscles (rotator cuff)
- The fluid filled sac between the muscles and bone (bursa)
- Shoulder capsule – filled with synovial fluid (the body’s oil)
What do I look for?
The most common site of pain will be at the top of the shoulder, or into the muscle bulk at the top of the arm.
Painful movement, for example when lifting your arms to dress or brush your hair.
Night pain when rolling onto your arm.
A painful clicking sensation.
What causes it?
Repetitive actions, such as many years of: paddling / kayaking, swimming, typing or working with your arms above your head. A traumatic event such as a fall, car accident or sporting injury.
Muscle weakness or poor shoulder blade control.
When do I see the physio?
Physiotherapists can assess your shoulder, offer a variety of treatment techniques, correct muscle imbalances and start you on an appropriate exercise program. Feel free to ask any of our friendly physios about this injury
Do I see my doctor?
If symptoms persist, your physiotherapist will advise when you need to see your doctor.
Do I get a cortisone injection? These injections offer short term pain relief (usually 2 days – 3 months). It weakens the surrounding muscles/tendons, so competitive sport is not recommended after an injection.
Injections can be good if the pain is long term, and only if combined with physio and posture control. Rounded shoulders will always aggravate shoulder pain.
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