The shoulder is not a single joint but a complex system of four joints that function together to move the arm & hand.
Injury or dysfunction to any of these joints can give similar shoulder pain on swinging and overhead activities or pain in bed at night or first thing in the morning.
At Osteo For Families we assess these joints separately (including each ligament, tendon & the cartilage) to figure out the cause of your shoulder pain. We can then tailor a plan to handle your shoulder Injury. Treatment may include manipulation of the joints, tendons and muscles, stretching and strengthening workouts or the correct brace or support. We’ll even help you plan your return to work or sport if needed to ensure we minimise the risk of re-injury.
Some of the most common and frequent sources of shoulder pain is inflammation, impingement or rips to the tendons of the rotator cuff but there are a lot of other structures that also need to be considered – so proper Osteopathic assessment is necessary.
Shoulder pain may also be caused by:
- Bone spurs in the shoulder area
- Bursitis, inflammation of a fluid-filled sac (bursa) that normally protects the joint and helps it move smoothly
- Arthritis in the shoulder joint
- Dislocation of the shoulder
- Shoulder separation
- Broken shoulder bone
- Overuse or injury of nearby tendons, such as the bicep muscles of the arms
- Tears of the rotator cuff tendons
- Frozen shoulder, which occurs when the muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside the shoulder become stiff, making movement difficult and painful
Impingement is when the tendons, joint capsule or bursa get pinched between the humerus (arm bone) and the acromion (bone of the shoulder tip). This often leads to fraying and inflammation of the tendons and bursa.
In initial stages of impingement the shoulder typically aches but certain movements (like reaching for your back pocket) may cause a sharper pain. In advanced stages resting on the affected side may wake you up and the shoulder may become stiffer and more painful. If this condition is disregarded, it can lead to significant deterioration of the joints and tendons and may even require surgery.
Avoiding severe injury requires early intervention and a plan of treatment to minimise or reverse the impacts of impingement.