Names like “tendonitis”, impingement, “frozen shoulder” are often used. Pain can happen when reaching forward, upward or backwards and is often accompanied by stiffness. It can come on with specific movements or may happen randomly. Everyday tasks like getting dressed can be difficult as can getting a good night’s sleep. Shoulder pain has many potential causes and may be “referred” from your neck. Pain can arise for no obvious reason or can result from repetitive movements involved in your job or sport. The shoulder is an immensely complicated joint which relies on precise timing of muscle contractions for its smooth running. Thorough assessment is essential to identify the underlying cause of the problem. A treatment programme will then be devised to address the issues relevant to you.
David who works as a driver had been involved in a car accident 6 months previously in which his shoulder had been knocked forcefully against the car door. He did not seek treatment initially as he thought it would settle down by itself. Over the next few months the shoulder stiffened and by the time he came to Stranmillis Physiotherapy normal movements such as reaching into a cupboard were painful. On assessment David’s shoulder girdle [shoulder + shoulder blade] were not working in a co-ordinated way and every time he raised his arm he was using the wrong muscles which is why his pain was getting worse. Meanwhile the muscles that had been affected in the car accident had become weak through lack of use. His treatment programme focused initially on pain relief using LASER and supportive tape. Soft tissue techniques were used to help the muscles recover and to restore the balance between the muscles around his shoulder. After 4 treatments David’s shoulder pain and stiffness were gone.