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  • Writer's pictureAnne-Marie Rose

Shoulder Woes: Common Shoulder Issues & Treatment

erapist treating shoulder issues

What are the most common shoulder issues?

Clients come to see me for many reasons and I would say that shoulder issues are very common.

Some of the most common shoulder issues include:

  1. Rotator Cuff Tears: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint and facilitate movement. Tears in the rotator cuff can occur due to overuse, trauma, or degeneration, leading to pain, weakness, and limited range of motion.

  2. Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: This occurs when the rotator cuff tendons or bursa (fluid-filled sacs that cushion the shoulder joint) become compressed or irritated as they pass through the narrow space between the top of the shoulder blade and the acromion (a bony projection of the shoulder blade). This can result in pain, inflammation, and limited mobility, especially when raising the arm overhead.

  3. Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): Frozen shoulder is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint, often accompanied by a gradual loss of range of motion. The exact cause is unknown, but it can develop after prolonged immobilization, injury, or certain medical conditions. It typically progresses through three stages: freezing, frozen, and thawing.

  4. Shoulder Bursitis: Bursitis is inflammation of the bursa, which can occur in the shoulder due to overuse, repetitive motion, trauma, or underlying conditions such as arthritis. Bursitis causes pain, tenderness, and swelling in the affected area, often worsened by movement or pressure.

  5. Shoulder Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the shoulder joint. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited mobility, particularly during activities that involve reaching or lifting.

  6. Shoulder Instability: Shoulder instability refers to a condition in which the shoulder joint is loose or unstable, making it prone to dislocation or subluxation (partial dislocation). This can result from acute trauma, repetitive strain, or underlying laxity of the joint structures.

  7. Shoulder Fractures: Fractures of the shoulder bones, such as the clavicle (collarbone), humerus (upper arm bone), or scapula (shoulder blade), can occur due to trauma or falls. Fractures may cause pain, swelling, bruising, and difficulty moving the shoulder.

  8. Biceps Tendonitis: Inflammation or irritation of the biceps tendon, which attaches the biceps muscle to the shoulder and elbow, can cause pain in the front of the shoulder. Biceps tendonitis often occurs due to overuse, repetitive motion, or injury.

These are just a few of the common shoulder issues encountered. It's essential to seek medical evaluation and treatment for any persistent shoulder pain to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate management plan.

What treatments are there for common shoulder issues?

The treatment for common shoulder issues depends on the specific condition and its severity. However, here are some general approaches to managing and treating common shoulder problems:

  1. Rest and Activity Modification: Resting the shoulder and avoiding activities that exacerbate pain or aggravate the condition can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Modify daily activities to minimize strain on the shoulder joint.

  2. Physical Therapy: A structured physical therapy programme can help improve shoulder strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Physical therapists can provide exercises, stretches, and manual techniques tailored to address specific shoulder issues.

  3. Ice and Heat Therapy: Applying ice packs to the shoulder can help reduce pain and inflammation, especially in the acute phase of injury. Heat therapy, such as warm compresses or heating pads, may be beneficial for promoting relaxation and easing muscle tension.

  4. Medications: Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation associated with shoulder conditions. In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be prescribed to provide temporary relief of pain and inflammation.

  5. Aromatherapy and Massage: Aromatherapy oils with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, such as lavender or peppermint, may be used during massage to help relax muscles and alleviate pain. Massage therapy can also improve circulation and promote tissue healing.

  6. Modalities: Modalities such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, or laser therapy may be used by healthcare professionals to reduce pain, promote tissue healing, and improve shoulder function.

  7. Bracing or Immobilization: Depending on the condition, wearing a supportive brace or sling may be recommended to stabilize the shoulder joint and prevent further injury. Immobilization may be necessary in cases of acute trauma or severe instability.

  8. Gradual Activity: Once pain and inflammation have subsided, gradually reintroduce activities and exercises to strengthen the shoulder and improve mobility. Avoid overexertion and listen to your body's signals to prevent re-injury.

  9. Surgical Intervention: In cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief or if there is significant structural damage, surgical intervention may be necessary. Common procedures include arthroscopic surgery for rotator cuff tears, shoulder stabilization for instability, or joint replacement for severe arthritis.

  10. Lifestyle Modifications: Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as maintaining proper posture, staying active, and avoiding repetitive overhead movements, can help prevent shoulder issues and promote overall shoulder health.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional, such as your GP, orthopedic surgeon, or physical therapist, for a comprehensive evaluation and personalized treatment plan tailored to your specific shoulder condition and individual needs.

I have a shoulder problem - how can Rose Holistic Treatments help right now?

If you are currently suffering from a common shoulder problem then don't suffer in silence! Massage may be beneficial and a combination of a warming massage oil plus gentle focused massage to the upper back and shoulder area may help ease the pain and discomfort associated with your shoulder issues.

Please contact me for more information - email: or call 07860 559184.

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