The shoulder joint is the most moveable versatile joint of the human body and is responsible for many plains of movement throughout the day. Simple activities from brushing your teeth, dressing, waving, lifting and reaching all occur through this joint.
Shoulder pain occurs for many different reasons and is indiscriminate and totally unsympathetic. It can affect anyone at any time. It can affect you when you really could do without it i.e., when you are trying hard to finish a project, in athletic competition or even on a 20-minute phone call. Equally, it can affect you when you are sedentary. One of the most unpopular times of having shoulder pain is upon wakening and we all know what that feels like.
The two most common occurrences for shoulder pains are overuse and injury with notable degenerative conditions also culpable.
Overuse really is categorised as repeat use, be this the 36 repetitions of a military dumbbell press or a two-to-six-hour stint of decorating. One of the simple fixes to that issue of course is rest. Do we rest when we become fatigued? The answer invariably is no. That good old adage of lets carry on. A simple cycle of this non rest and infallibility can really bring on shoulder pain and it can be prolonged.
Injury or strain is next on this list and injury can be as simple as your shoulder being subjected to a force it isn’t used to thus resulting in a micro tear. It could be that you’ve thrown a ball for your pet and irritated a tendon or possibly fallen awkwardly and put your arm out to ease your landing. The net results are the same, dysfunction, lack of mobility, inflammation and pain.
Inflamed tendons of the shoulder or tendonitis are the most common occurrences of shoulder pain. Simply when in certain plains of motion, the tendon is irritated as the shoulder joint moves. There is simply less space for the joint to move freely as the inflamed tendon is occupying that space.
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a condition that we have all heard of is when the musculature around your shoulder joint becomes guarded resulting in compromised range of motion, acute pain and inability to do the most basic things.
The shoulder joint consists of a complex series of nerve and nerve pathways. It is very easy to see how referral pain to other areas of the body can occur if they become pinched. Its also a major arterial road map too hence blood circulation can be in some cases of injury lets say, “severe dislocation” perilously compromised needing immediate medical attention.
The main thing I advise with shoulder pain is to keep the shoulder gently moving whilst being mindful of what may have brought it on and in some cases an immediate cease of those activities. Don’t push through a gym session when the pain is not a good pain. You could bring on a whole heap of trouble. Keeping the joint moving whilst maintaining a modicum of rest is vital as any compromise to this is likely to make the problem worse. It is key in the first while to try and reduce any inflammation and to just be careful, resisting certain things that may bring on pain. Progression of mobility exercises over a course of a few days should start to free the joint up and range of motion and reduction of pain should be more noticeable.
Coming to see a therapist like myself is beneficial if there is a general feeling that the pain is getting worse or in some cases, the mobility is getting worse. Early intervention is vital as mobility can get so bad that you may not be able to move your shoulder joint much at all. I’ve heard this time and time again how a shoulder joint has deteriorated so bad through lack of synovial fluid, lack of adequate blood supply that it simply does not move.
A further net benefit of having treatment is that if there is a feeling that mobility isn’t getting any better and the pain maybe getting worse, referring on to a scan intervention could be the best option. Say for instance calcification is forming in the bone and ligaments “onset arthritis “ an alternative treatment protocol may be needed to assist the improvement of mobility and reduction in symptoms.
Don’t let shoulder pain be the curse of your day or week. Give my clinic a call on 01302 456270