Oh, my shoulder hurts! What did I do to my knees? Where did the soreness come from?
If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you may want to see your doctor or physiotherapist. Your injured area may need to be diagnosed through X-rays, ultrasound or MRI to determine the extent of the injury. If your injury isn’t severe and all tests turn up negative, care without surgery may be all you need. Your doctor will refer you to a physiotherapist, who will assess for soft tissue damage. Understanding the injury’s scope is vital to the recovery and is the basis for a treatment plan of therapies, mobilizations and progressive exercises to restore function and reduce pain.
The experience and rehabilitation knowledge of the physiotherapists will progressively guide you to improved mobility, strength, and function. They will inform you and teach you specific exercises to help you get back into your normal activities, whether at work or in a sport. Physiotherapists have long known, and research now shows that exercises and activities designed by physiotherapists specific to the individual’s orthopedic condition will speed the recovery rate. This will also reduce the rate of re-injury in the future.
Call today to schedule an appointment and begin your shoulder rehab.
The shoulder joint is a very mobile structure made of a “ball and socket” joint with four muscles, and their tendons called the rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is surrounded by an empty sac, or bursa, which helps the tendons slide as the arm is moved. The whole shoulder is surrounded by strong muscles like the deltoid, pectoralis major and trapezius. The most common shoulder conditions are rotator cuff impingement (which causes tendinitis and/or bursitis), rotator cuff tears, frozen shoulder and shoulder separation.
Pain in the rotator cuff is often felt at the joint or down the arm. Overhead activities, such as throwing, swimming or repeated lifting above shoulder height, can lead to pain in the rotator cuff. As the bone above it is narrowed, either due to injury or the ageing process, the rotator cuff tendons or the overlying bursa can get squeezed. This is called “impingement” and can lead to bursitis and tendinitis. Sometimes a calcium deposit may form in the rotator cuff and cause inflammation of the tendon and bursa. As we get older, the rotator cuff tendons weaken and can wear out, especially if there have been injuries in the past or a history of a lot of wear and tear. A rotator cuff tear can occur due to the ageing process alone or when the weakened tendons are stressed during activities or accidents, like a fall on an outstretched arm or on the outside of the shoulder. When you see your physiotherapist, he/she will do several tests on you to try to find out the exact cause of your rotator cuff pain.
Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder, also known as adhesive capsulitis, is when you have extreme stiffness and pain in your shoulder, which doesn’t have any cause that you can think of. Frozen shoulder usually affects one shoulder, although some people may develop it in both shoulders. Your physiotherapist will teach you effective stretching and strengthening exercises to do while you recover. Most people eventually regain nearly full shoulder range of motion and strength once symptoms improve.
Separated shoulder: A separated shoulder is a common injury among young athletes, but it can happen to anyone who falls and lands on the tip of their shoulder. The result can be partial or full tearing of the muscles, tendons and ligaments that hold the bones in your shoulder together. After such an injury, the arm is limp, it is difficult and painful to lift, and there is a lot of pain in the shoulder.
Of course, if you have had a bad injury, you should have medical attention. For such an injury, you may need surgery (like a repair for a torn rotator cuff), and you will be sent to a physiotherapist for rehabilitation afterward. If you have shoulder pain that is bothering you more and more over time, you should see a physiotherapist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible, as it will most likely get worse on its own. Your treatment will include some pain relief, stretching exercises, if needed, and strengthening. It is crucial with all shoulder problems that the muscles around the shoulder be rehabilitated properly and fully to ensure that every move you make is correct and is not going to continue causing problems