The main causes of shoulder pain can be:
- Referral from the neck- The neck joints and discs can radiate some symptoms into the shoulder masquerading as shoulder pain. If you have had a painful or stiff neck and then get shoulder pain there may be some symptoms that start in the neck.
- Pain can stem from tendons around the shoulder- symptoms for tendon pain include pain on moving the arm similar to a pinch and then eases when the movement stops. This can gradually get worse and be painful constantly. It is unusual to have stiffness with tendon pain but sometimes you can get a mixed picture. Treatment for tendon pain in the shoulder is a progressive loading or resistance programme which is monitored by the physiotherapist to optimise results.
- Frozen shoulder or capsulitis- Frozen shoulder is a term you can hear being used for a stiff and painful shoulder. It is still unknown why some people suffer with this condition, it has been linked to diabetes or on some occasions can be secondary to a primary injury. The first thing you need to do if you think you have a frozen shoulder is have a check x-ray to rule out any other causes of the pain and stiffness. If the x-ray is clear then the diagnosis can be made. Options for frozen shoulder include; hydrodilitation, steroid injection, and active physiotherapy to help regain some movements. If untreated it may take up to 18 months to clear. It is fairly common to be left with some mild restrictions on certain movements but it is important that you keep moving the shoulder.
- Dislocating or unstable shoulder- this is when you have a shoulder that feels unstable, this may be due to an injury (usually on an outstretched arm) or may be congenital (born with the problem). Unstable shoulders can be treated conservatively with strengthening. If that is not successful then surgery may be indicated. Working on a good strengthening programme is our forte so please get in touch.