Lifestyle Blog

Shoulder pain.

Shoulder pain has recently become one of the most commonly reported problems at Lifestyle.

Why?

Could it be that we have spent the best part of 2 years working from home in less-than ideal postures? Or that we have been cleaning and organising our homes for the best part of 2 years while we have had no where else to be? Or maybe that we have undoubtedly had an increase in our general stress levels for the best part of 2 years as we navigate a global pandemic?! Yep probably has something to do with it.

So when you present to the clinic with a sore shoulder we look above and below to gain a true picture of what is causing the pain and or restriction.

We often start with examining your neck and thoracic spine- changes in posture can significantly affect your shoulder function. Then we try and replicate the pain, in a gentle and controlled way of course. This will tell us WHAT causes pain.

The we look at your strength or function. Examining both your postural strength (how well you are able to maintain “good” posture) and shoulder strength in a variety of positions. This tells us WHY there is pain.

Finally, we try to make a change. While these changes are transient (for example we may exaggerate your posture by holding you in an ideal position, or elevate your shoulder blade while you move) they tell us HOW we are going to change your pain.

Recent research tells us that strength is NOT always the problem, and gains in strength are NOT always associated with less pain. And while it may sound confusing what it means to us, your physiotherapist is that we need to take an approach to your treatment that encompasses not only the biological (or injury specific) cause of the pain, but also the effect it is having on your well-being, social interaction or daily functions.

If we prescribe exercise, it may not be to strengthen or to stretch, but to normalise movement and reduce the anxiety or fear around your injury. We will always be safe in our approach, and never ask you to do something that will cause more tissue damage.

Once we have you moving, your body will remember what it CAN do- then it is only upward and onward from there.

Have you got a shoulder pain that is stopping you? Or know someone who does? We CAN help.

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