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What is wrong with my shoulder?

Jul 28, 2020

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Shoulder pain can be very disruptive. It can really make everyday chores and activities very difficult. Are you experiencing shoulder pain? 🤕

In this article, we talk through the common shoulder problems that our patients experience, so you can better understand your symptoms. 💁♀️

 

ROTATOR CUFF TENDONITIS

 

This condition affects the muscles and tendons that help to move the shoulder joint.  If the muscle is over stretched or pulled, sometimes the tendon can be damaged and become inflamed. This is called tendonitis.

This condition can build up over time. It’s often the result of maintaining the shoulder in one position for a long time, doing repetitive activities that require lifting the arms over the head, or sleeping on your shoulder for too long. 😴

Athletes often experience this condition, which can also be referred to as swimmer’s shoulder or tennis shoulder. When the tendon starts to heal itself, scar tissue is created. This causes less movement in the muscle and can lead to more damage when the muscle is used in future.

Location of pain: Pain and swelling can be experienced in the front of the shoulder and side of the arm, triggered by raising or lowering the arm. You might also hear a clicking sound when you move the arm, or experience loss of mobility and strength, as well as pain when reaching behind your back.

At Inspired Health we work on reducing the stretch on the muscle and breaking down the scar issue to help the tendon heal and prevent further injury. 🙌

 

AC JOINT IMPINGEMENT

 

There is a joint call the acromioclavicular joint (AC Joint) which provides important support in the shoulder and sits where the shoulder bone and collar bone meet. The space directly below the AC Joint is the subacromial space, which contains the rotator cuff tendons and bursa. If the joint isn’t moving properly, the bicep tendon, supraspinatus tendon or subacromial bursa can become trapped or inflamed. 🔥

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The bursa is meant to help reduce friction on the tendons and muscles over the bony surfaces in your shoulder, so if this is inflamed or thickened, it can cause impingement. Any injury, instability or arthritis in this area can make it hard to move the shoulder freely. 🙆♀️

Location of pain: You can find the AC Joint where the shoulder bone (called the acromion) meets the collar bone – if you put your fingers on your collar bone and trace back towards your shoulder, you will feel a bony bump. This is the AC joint!

 

At Inspired Health we gently move the acromioclavicular joint to take pressure off the tendons and bursa to help them heal. 💪

 

FROZEN SHOULDER

 

A frozen shoulder (also known as adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that is a lot like what it sounds like! It’s pain and stiffness which can be worse at night, when sleeping, and makes the arm and shoulder very hard to move (thus it is ‘frozen’ in position!).  🥶

A frozen shoulder happens usually after you have had an injury or surgery that keeps you from moving the arm normally. It has also been associated with diabetes, though it is still unclear why this is. As you begin to experience pain and stiffness, the difficulty in moving actually makes the problem worse – as you move the shoulder less and less, the stiffness and pain can increase.

The frozen shoulder condition happens when scar tissue from a tendon tear has started to stick the shoulder joint to its socket. Tissue can get tighter and then shrink, causing movement to become very limited and painful. 🤕

Location of pain: Usually experienced in one shoulder as a dull or achy pain, though may also experience pain in the shoulder muscles wrapping around the top of your arm. It becomes worse with movement, and sometimes is also worse at night.

At Inspired Health we move the shoulder gently in the capsule to unstick the joint, restore its movement and reduce pain. 💆♂️

 

If any of these descriptions sound familiar, and you are experiencing pain in the shoulder or upper arm, please don’t hesitate to come in and see us for a thorough assessment.

At Inspired Health, we work with you to gently work on the underlying problem causing pain within your shoulder and give your body the chance to heal properly and restore movement. Regain your everyday quality of life and help support healthy movement in your body, to keep moving and feeling strong!

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If you’d like to discuss anything in private instead, just get in touch using the contact details at the bottom of the page!

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