Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is an extremely common condition treated within Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong, therefore we understand how debilitating and frustrating chronic shoulder pain can be. Our Geelong sports physios are experienced in treating and diagnosing the cause of shoulder pain.

The shoulder is a complex structure consisting of three different joints:

  • Scapula-Thoracic
  • Acromio-Clavicular
  • Gleno-Humeral.

The Scapulo-Thoracic joint (although not technically a joint as there is no interconnected bone) consists of the shoulder blade sliding over the rib-cage.

The Acromio clavicular joint refers to the bony articulation between the collarbone and the shoulder blade.

The Gleno-Humeral joint is the ball and socket joint between the arm and the shoulder blade.

The ball and socket joint provides the most mobility to the shoulder while the rotator cuff muscles play an important role in stabilising the ball within the socket. 

The complex structure of the shoulder joint and associated muscle groups, promotes both strength and mobility necessary to participate in many sports and activities. However, this also renders the shoulder susceptible to damage and consequent injury. Shoulder injuries are common in sports that sustain repetitive upper limb impact such as tennis, swimming, throwing sports, golf, baseball and gymnastics.

Common symptoms accompanying shoulder pain include:

  • Generalised shoulder pain and aches
  • Tightness
  • Tender to move and rotate the shoulder
  • Muscle spasms
  • Decreased range of movement

At Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong, our expert team of sports physios perform a detailed examination to determine the cause of shoulder pain and exacerbating factors. By identifying these factors we are able to diagnose your problem and help alleviate your shoulder pain.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain include:

  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy / Tendinitis
  • Labral tear
  • Bankart Lesion
  • Bicep Tendinopathy / Tendinitis
  • Subacromial Shoulder Bursitis
  • Supraspinatus Tendinopathy
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • AC Joint Injury or Dysfunction
  • Multidirectional Instability
  • AC Joint Stabilisation
  • Shoulder Laxity
  • Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries
  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

6 tips to help relieve shoulder pain:

1. Try to reduce the inflammation

Inflammation, identifiable as redness and swelling, can greatly contribute to the pain experienced in your shoulder. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Nurofen or Voltaren and cold pack application, accompanied by compression wraps, can all help to reduce inflammation and subsequent shoulder pain. Talk to your doctor about whether NSAIDs are appropriate for you.

2. Stretch and exercise your shoulders regularly

Appropriate exercise and stretch can promote strength and improved mobility to an injured shoulder. However, this should be undertaken with guidance from a trusted sports physiotherapists available at Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong.

3. Use heat therapy

Application of heat to your shoulder, in the form of a heat pack, gel pad or hot water bottle, helps to alleviate muscle tension. This may reduce the number and frequency of painful spasms around the shoulder joint by promoting muscle relaxation. To avoid skin burns, apply heat packs of appropriate temperatures and avoid heat-pack application for prolonged periods of time. If you experience any throbbing or worsening of pain, swap out the heat pack for an ice pack instead.

4. Pain medication

Pain medication may help manage the pain and discomfort caused by an injured shoulder which can provide a welcome relief and enable sleep. However, it is important to note that pain medication will only mask the injury. Professional diagnosis is necessary to treat what is causing your shoulder pain. Please consult with your doctor about what medication is appropriate for you.

5. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep can assist shoulder pain as it enables the body to heal. A disruption in sleep contributes to increased pain perception leading to decreased pain tolerance throughout your day. At Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong, our team of experts are able to provide you with tips and information on how to improve your night’s sleep.

6. Book an appointment online

Book a physiotherapy appointment online at Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong and get expert assessment and treatment for your shoulder pain. Forefront Physiotherapy Geelong are experienced in dealing with shoulder pain and strive to restore your function and mobility.