Shoulder pain is very common as we attempt to use our upper limbs on a daily basis! Your shoulder is supported by four (4) major muscles that support the girdle. These are called the rotator cuff muscles. It is also supported by various strong ligaments and structures in between them. Common conditions affecting the shoulder may be from:
Most of the time symptoms of these conditions can overlap and many people may have more than one shoulder condition at any given time. In this instance referral for ultrasounds and other investigations may be of value to determine your course of treatment.
Shoulder injuries can present with:
- Inability to move the arm up and down
- Stiffness and loss of motion rotating and maneuvering the arm which affects basic daily activities. For example putting on your bra in the morning, washing your hair etc.
- Pain in the shoulder radiating down into your upper arm, neck and shoulders or behind your shoulder blade. (See Figure 2)
- Weakness or inability to grip
- Throbbing an aching in the shoulder whilst sleeping
Figure 1. Rotator cuff syndrome. This picture shows inflamed tendons in the shoulder girdle.
How can Osteopathy help my shoulder pain?
At Moreland Osteopathy we offer advise and treatment according to your condition. We can advise you on appropriate rehabilitation exercises, postural changes at your workplace, how to lift things to minimize risk of injury. Apart from this, we may be able to assist your condition with hands on manual therapy techniques to increase the joint range of motion and flexibility of the shoulder girdle.
Upon your first consultation we take an elaborate medical history, do our necessary orthopedic examination and assessment to find out what you are suffering from. Any red flags will be ruled out during your history taking and questioning with the Osteopath. Following this, Osteopathy may help your shoulder pain and injury through hands on manual therapy techniques, also if needed, dry needling, cupping, exercise/ stretching prescription. If your shoulder pain persists, you may even be sent off to do some X-rays or MRI's depending on your presentation.
Some techniques we use for shoulder injuries are Massage, trigger point release, articulation and manipulation of joints, muscle energy technique, inhibition and many more. We use these techniques in order to give your body a chance to take charge, and help itself. Some effects of Osteopathy are to increase blood flow to your injured site, therefore decreasing pain levels and increasing your healing rate.
Every treatment is tailored to you so if you prefer or respond better to certain techniques then we will take that into account. We have excellent bedside manner and aim to make you feel comfortable at all times.
Figure 2. Referral of shoulder pain. Regions where you may feel pain in the shoulder. The pain can run up into your neck, behind your blades or down into your arm and lower forearm.