Shoulder pain

The shoulder is an extremely mobile joint that plays a role in the action of the arm and is at high risk of injury. Pain can occur due to conditions that involve the shoulder joint, the soft tissues and bones surrounding the shoulder or the nerves that supply sensation to the shoulder joint.

Shoulder disorders are fairly common. About 3 in 10 adults are affected by these types of conditions at any one time. Injuries are common in sports that involve repetitive shoulder movements, such as overarm bowling or throwing, contact sports such as rugby, where you may injure or fall on your shoulder and occupational repetitive strain.

Frozen shoulder is a painful condition that reduces normal movement in the joint and can sometimes prevent movement in the shoulder altogether. Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is the painful and gradual stiffening of the shoulder capsule (the tissue that surrounds the shoulder joint). Over time, this painful stiffening leads to sleep disturbance and limits your ability to use your arm for day-to-day activities.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to keep it stable. These tendons can be injured during lifting, when playing sports with a lot of throwing, or after repetitive use over a long time. This can lead to pain with motion of the shoulder due to shoulder impingement syndrome and eventually to a chronic loss of range of motion of the shoulder.

The acromioclavicular joint is the joint at the top of the shoulder where the collar bone meets the shoulder blade. Pain in this joint can occur if you carry out a lot of activities that require you to lift your arms above your head.

Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff disorders are most common in middle-aged and older people. Shoulder instability and acromioclavicular joint disorders tend to affect younger people, particularly men who play certain sports.

Referred shoulder pain can be experienced in an area away from the actual injury or problem e.g. pain in the shoulder which is usually referred from the neck or upper back. Shoulder pain can be a long-term problem. It is therefore important to obtain the correct advice from our experienced therapists so that you can receive effective treatment for your symptoms.