Where does it hurt
The shoulder is a highly mobile joint. It is shaped like a ball and socket and has a very shallow contact where the arm bone and the shoulder blade intersect. This shape causes the joint to be heavily reliant on muscle support to allow for smooth and pain free movement.
Pain in the shoulder can be caused by any of the structures surrounding the joint. There can be changes to the joint surface caused by wear and tear (osteoarthritis) or due to injury (traumatic arthritis). You can stress the ligaments causing a sprain, or strain the muscles and tendons causing tendonitis i.e. rotator cuff tendonitis. Further development in imaging has also made the medical community aware of symptoms caused by tears of the cartilage surrounding the socket (labrum). Sometimes the shoulder stiffens without any injury or warning and when this happens it is called frozen shoulder.
At The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic your therapist will partner with you to determine the best course of treatment for your injury. When you are having symptoms the most important first step is to understand what you have. Your therapist will provide a thorough assessment to determine whether your symptoms are caused by the joint, ligament, muscles or are referred from other structures such as the neck.
Once the injury is diagnosed the next step is to determine where you are in the recovery sequence. Treatment is predominately determined by your stage of healing as more acute injuries usually require a plan to reduce pain and inflammation. As you continue to heal the focus of your therapy shifts to the restoration of flexibility, rebuilding strength and re-establishing normal movement patterns. The final stage is to determine a strategy to help you return to full activity, sport and long-term prevention.
Our therapists have extensive experience in the care of both the acute and chronic shoulder condition. We work with clients after surgical repair of tendons i.e. rotator cuff repair or following joint replacements. We provide therapy after joint fractures and shoulder dislocations both in non-operative and post-operative conditions.