The Shoulder

The glenohumeral joint more commonly known as the shoulder joint is a very common area for pain and discomfort and in order to resolve the symptoms is important to obtain a correct diagnosis. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint and has a very wide range of motion which can often lead the shoulder prone to overuse and trauma. The shoulder therefore relies heavily on a group of muscles known as the SITS muscles or rotator cuff muscles to stabilise the joint.

Following injury the strength and function of these muscles can be affected resulting in muscle imbalance which unless addressed can lead to chronic pain and loss of movement of the joint.  Posture and ergonomics have a significant role to play in common shoulder complaints such as poor posture, incorrect work station set up and repetitive overuse.

Symptoms we can relieve

  • Pain
  • Ache
  • Weakness
  • Joint restriction
  • Numbness
  • Tingling (paraesthesias)

Conditions we can treat

  • Impingement Syndrome
  • Tendonitis
  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
  • Bursitis
  • Instability

Shoulder complaints in more detail

Impingement syndrome -This is a common complaint often in repetitive over head use of the shoulder such as in tennis, badminton and in swimmers. It often occurs due to a repetitive overuse of a couple of the rotator cuff muscles causing muscle imbalance and resultant  tendonitis of the supraspinatis tendon. This causes classic pain on lifting the arm side ways between 60 and 120 degrees. Other causes include osteoarthritis of the acromioclavicular joint

Tendonitis -Inflammation of a tendon, commonly secondary to overuse repetitive injury such as impingement.

Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder) -This is a condition causing severe restriction and pain of the shoulder joint by affecting the joint capsule surrounding the glenohumeral joint.  Little is known about the cause of frozen shoulder however it is believed certain factors such as hormonal, genetic, postural or autoimmune may play a role to play in the development of a frozen shoulder.

Bursitis -Bursitis is the inflammation or irritation of the bursa which is a sac filled with lubricating fluid, located between tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons, and skin, that decreases rubbing, friction, and irritation.

Instability – This is when the shoulder joint moves through ranges of motion out of its structural limits. Main causes include major trauma or from repetitive micro trauma such as repetitive over head use such as throwing a ball. Certain people are born with a genetic disposition for lax ligaments and are more prone to repetitive joint dislocations.

Shoulder complaints can be very debilitating and often the sooner the correct diagnosis is formed the sooner normal mechanics of the shoulder can be resumed minimising the often chronic nature of shoulder complaints.

For further information about shoulder complaints, or if you are suffering with any of the above symptoms, book in with one of our highly qualified chiropractors. They will provide expert advice and treatment as well as advise on specific exercises to rehabilitate the shoulder.