Shoulder Injury And Pain 101

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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.

The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic

This shape causes the joint to be heavily reliant on muscle support to allow for smooth and pain free movement.  It is also the cause of many shoulder injuries and pain.

Causes of shoulder pain

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

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.

Shoulder Therapy 

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 type of injury 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.

Stages of recovery

Once the injury is diagnosed the next step is to determine where you are in your recovery. Treatment is predominately determined by your stage of healing.

More acute injuries usually require a plan to reduce pain and inflammation.  Our physiotherapists use modalities i.e. acupuncture, ultrasound, etc,. as well as advise you on home treatments and strategies to help you heal.

As you continue to progress, the focus of your therapy shifts to the restoration of flexibility, rebuilding strength and re-establishing normal movement patterns. Both massage therapy and physiotherapy are helpful at this stage.

The final stage is to determine a strategy to help you return to full activity, sport and long-term prevention. Our therapeutic fitness team provides you with a program to complete this stage of recovery.

Shoulder Conditions we treat

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, and before or after total shoulder joint replacements. We provide therapy after joint fractures and shoulder dislocations both in non-operative and post-operative conditions.  We provide therapy for sports related injuries and prevention i.e. swimmers shoulder.

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This service pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about therapy, health and related sub­jects. It is not meant to replace advice and/or treatment from your health care professional.