There are many ailments that can cause pain into the shoulder. Whilst there are many that can be named such as labral tears (the cartilage around the joint), frozen shoulder, referred pain from the neck or muscle tears; the most common is shoulder impingement. Your practitioner will carry out a detailed clinical assessment which will enable them to disassociate these different conditions. From here they can inform you of what the most likely issue with the shoulder is and the best way to treat it.
What is shoulder impingement?
Shoulder impingement is a very common cause of shoulder pain. It is where a tendon (band of tissue) inside your shoulder rubs or catches on nearby tissue and bone as you lift your arm. It affects the rotator cuff tendon, which is the rubbery tissue that connects the muscles around your shoulder joint to the top of your arm. Whilst shoulder impingement historically is a term that has been used frequently, the research is now supporting a more generic term of nonspecific shoulder pain.
Symptoms for shoulder impingement include but are not limited to:
- Pain when lifting the arm above 90 degrees
- Inability to raise the arm above the head
- Pain referring down the outside of the arm
- Pain inside the joint
- Reduction in movements such as putting your hand behind your back.
The most common cause of shoulder impingement is poor posture and the muscles around the shoulder not working correctly. Your practitioner will use manual therapy techniques such as joint mobilisation, joint manipulation and soft tissue massage to try and improve the function of the shoulder. They will also deliver a bespoke exercise plan to enable you to take control of your injury and hopefully prevent re occurrence.