Shoulder Pain Treatment

A very important part of the service Osteopaths provide is to diagnose and inform our clients of what will promote their healing, and what will hinder it.

This concept is key with shoulder injuries simply because people carry out most of their activities and tasks with their arms and hands. However, it isn’t always over use that can cause shoulder problems, often shoulder injuries come from poor desk posture and even poor sleeping positions.

Poor posture and shoulder pain

A forward head posture is a common cause of shoulder pain and shoulder injuries. Extra strain can be placed on the joints, ligaments, and muscles of the neck and shoulder the further forward the head comes from a healthy neutral position

Cervical spine joint referral pain

Incorrect posture also increases the likelihood of the facet joints becoming restricted and inflamed, and the joint capsule may become stretched. This can lead to the joints of the neck referring pain into the head and shoulders.

Rounded shoulders

Most of the tasks we carry out require the arms to be in front of the body which results in the  majority of the population suffering with rounded shoulders. Rounded shoulders causes the shoulder joints to be pulled out of alignment in a forward direction, which causes strain in the muscles involved in movement of the shoulder. These predominantly include the rotator cuff muscles, deltoid, and upper trapezius. This un-optimal posture will also cause restrictions in the facet joints either side of the thoracic spine.

Rotator cuff strain

The rotator cuff muscles are small muscles located deep in the shoulder. Their main role is to stabilise the large ball and socket joint in the shoulder. They aren’t big enough to carry out heavy work, which is why a rotator cuff strain is one of the most common shoulder complaints.. Pain can be felt around the shoulder joint or the upper arm. One Distinctive symptom is pain that can be worse at night, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.

Shoulder impingement

Another rotator cuff injury specific to the Supraspinatus muscle. Pain is typically felt when bringing the arm in front of the body or to the side. When this movement occurs the inflamed supraspinatus gets pinched between the humeral head (the bone in the upper arm) and the acromion (part of the Scapula).

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder affects the joint capsule, and other connective tissues that cross the largest joint in the shoulder. The capsule initially becomes inflamed and this causes the tissues to thicken and contract, which results in adhesions forming in the structures. Chronic pain and very limited range of movement are experienced.