Table of Contents:
- Do You Have Shoulder Pain?
- What Caused It?
- How Do Physiotherapists Evaluate Shoulder Pain?
- Physiotherapy Support
- Self-Treatment at Home
Many of us will experience shoulder pain at some point in our lives and it can be quite unpleasant; it interferes with our ability to work and prevents us from enjoying our daily activities and sports. So what are our options? What initially causes shoulder pain? How does physiotherapy assist us in regaining our health?
Many people are unaware that shoulder discomfort can begin as a brief, acute tingle and proceed to a more regular, dull aching down the arm. Shoulder problems may emerge due to daily wear and tear, excessive usage or an isolated accident. These aches are readily addressed with physiotherapy, establishing a precise diagnosis and providing the right treatment. Why would you want to spend your days in excruciating agony when physiotherapy helps you reclaim your healthy lifestyle?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), shoulder discomfort is the 3rd most prevalent musculoskeletal ailment, affecting up to 30% of us during our lifetime. However, for those who are physically active or engaged in sports, the prevalence rate might reach as high as 66.7%. Additional study has recently shown that 10% of all sporting injuries are shoulder-related. A physiotherapist can help with various shoulder disorders and diseases including frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis), shoulder tendonitis, shoulder bursitis, impingement syndrome, and rotator cuff and shoulder tendon injuries. Your physiotherapist’s evaluation will enable them to locate the root of your shoulder discomfort.
Your shoulder pain may be the result of:
- Rotator cuff and shoulder muscle weakness
- Arthritis causing damage to the bones and cartilage
- Shoulder blade muscle weakness and stiff shoulder joints
- Inadequate mobility of the arm due to muscular imbalances between the shoulder muscles
- Stress in the muscles between the neck and shoulders (common in those who have poor upper back or neck posture, often related to employment)
- Trauma to the arm, such as a fall
Your journey to improved health will begin with a physiotherapy evaluation. This examination will begin with a comprehensive inspection from all angles, allowing your physiotherapist to evaluate the position of your shoulder, shoulder blade and scapula. You will next be asked to undertake active motions, during which your physiotherapist will examine your shoulder’s three planes of motion (and any discomfort which occurs as a reduction of mobility in these planes).
If no range of motion issues are present, shoulder strength is evaluated using the same movements but with slight resistance. Finally, joint glide testing is performed. The physiotherapist performs actions to assess how effectively the bones which comprise the joints move relative to one another (stiffness is a regular occurrence). Following the assessment, a diagnosis will be made and the physiotherapist will develop a treatment plan for your condition.
Shoulder impingements are complicated diseases which need care based on an individual personalized approach – not simply a set of prescribed exercises. Physiotherapists are well-positioned to assist in the rehabilitation of this condition by using a comprehensive strategy that includes strength training, manual therapy, taping, workouts and soft tissue release.
We support you in numerous ways including:
- Educating you on the most effective workouts for your specific problem and giving additional beneficial treatments (e.g. manual therapy, soft tissue releases and strengthening exercises).
- Assisting you in understanding why you have shoulder discomfort; the reasons that most likely contributed to your pain; and how to change your activity to alleviate your pain and speed up your recovery.
- Early phases of rehabilitation/treatment will focus on pain management and strengthening to establish a solid joint foundation for the shoulder to move more effectively. This enables a gradual return to more routine tasks.
- Later phases of rehabilitation and treatment will incorporate more advanced and comprehensive strengthening, power and plyometric exercises, as well as critical ongoing management of the rotator cuff and shoulder blade stabilizing muscles that form the foundations of shoulder movement.
Your home workout regimen is also important. Often, individuals have shoulder discomfort because their shoulder is out of alignment (or cannot move correctly due to an imbalance in the surrounding muscles). A shoulder at-home workout program often incorporates strengthening and stretching exercises in order to address these abnormalities. Before beginning home workouts, you should concentrate on regaining a complete range of motion in the shoulder. Once this complete range is attained, the training regimen will emphasize strength development. Functional workouts to rehabilitate your performance are added, based on your normal activities. For instance, a throwing athlete would focus on this kind of precise movement, while still performing all prior workouts mastered.
Shoulder pain doesn’t have to be something you simply accept and live with. Your friendly experts at Fraser Life Physio in Langley (Willowbrook) are here to help. Visit us online or call us at (778) 278-4755 today.