The shoulder is not a single joint but a complex of four joints that function together to move the arm and hand. Injury or dysfunction to any of these joints can give similar pain on swinging and overhead activities or pain in bed at night or first thing in the morning.
Some of the most common causes of pain around the shoulder are inflammation, impingement or tears to the tendons of the rotator cuff. It is also common to have inflammation of other structures in the shoulder such as the ligaments, the joint capsule or the bursa (bursitis) – and we often see a number of these occurring at the one time!
Who it affects
Shoulder injuries are very common in sporting populations, especially throwing and racket sports like cricket, tennis or squash. We also tend to see chronic shoulder pain in people who have sedentary lifestyles or occupations. Hunching for prolonged periods can cause postural stress and stiffness in the thoracic spine and shoulders, which can lead to difficulty with a range of daily activities.
What we do about it
To ensure the right treatment for your shoulder it is critical that we determine the key contributors to your pain. A thorough assessment will allow us to tell you if your shoulder pain is caused by a problem with the shoulder or if it is referred from the neck, back or chest.