Do you do repetitive lifting, overhead activities, having trouble reaching the back or just sleeping on your shoulder? Then read this,
One of the most common types of physical complaints we see is shoulder pain. The shoulder is composed of multiple joints, tendons and muscles that all join together to provide you with an increased range of movement in the arm. Since so many different structures make up the shoulder, it is particularly vulnerable to a number of different issues. Rotator cuff pain is one of the more frequent sources of pain in the shoulder. Typically the patient with a rotator cuff issue will have difficulty and pain lifting their arm above their head, placing their arm behind their back (for example putting on a coat, or reaching for a bra strap), and sleeping on the affected side.
There is a lubricating sac known as the bursa that lies between the rotator cuff muscles and the bone that sits on the top of the shoulder. The bursa allows the rotator cuff tendons to freely glide whenever you move your arm, however, it can get inflamed and becomes a very painful condition, called bursitis.
Causes of shoulder pain:
Arthritis of the acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) including osteophytes.
Over-use of the tendon and shoulder in sports.
General degenerative changes around the shoulder.
If shoulder pain continues to be a problem, the tendon can form a tear known as a tear. It is best to treat it as soon as possible, to avoid having a frozen shoulder ( the condition which unable us to use the arm fully for 2 years!)
How to treat shoulder pain?
Physical Therapy such as osteopaths, physiotherapists, acupuncture and sports therapists will initially focus their attention on restoring normal movement to the shoulder. Stretching exercises for improving range of movement are extremely helpful.
If you are having trouble reaching behind your back, sleeping on your shoulder, pain stretching the arm you might have developed a tightness in the posterior capsule that makes up the shoulder ( eg. frozen shoulder). Using a specific type of stretching exercise for the posterior capsule can be quite effective in relieving shoulder pain. As the pain improves, the therapist will start you out on a strengthening program to help your rotator cuff muscles.