Shoulder pain can be incredibly debilitating. This is most likely due to the complexity of the shoulder and it’s function. No joint in the body has the range of motion that this joint does. Muscles of the shoulder arise from many other areas of the body; neck, upper and lower back, pelvis, chest/rib cage and forearm. Thus the shoulder is greatly effected by poor mechanics of other surrounding areas like the neck and upper back.
Accurate diagnosis is paramount to effective treatment. Imaging will often show rotator cuff tears, particularly as you get older and this is too often blamed as the culprit of shoulder complaints. A study by Minagawa et al (2013) showed that symptomatic rotator cuff tears accounted for only 35% of all rotator cuff tears found.
Common shoulder complaints that present at our Sports & Spinal Albury are :
- Rotator cuff strains and tears
- Acromioclavicular (AC) joint sprain
- Shoulder Impingement
- Subacromial / Subdeltoid Bursitis
- Tendonitis / Tendinopathy
- Frozen shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis
- Postural Tension
- Shoulder instability
- Degeneration / Osteoarthritis
- Pinched nerve in the lower neck / cervicals
- Referred pain from the lower neck or upper back
Osteopaths are trained to look at the body holistically and thus looking at all these other contributing areas is something that comes naturally to us. Treatment will aim to improve the function of not only the shoulder joint but also addressing the other areas that may be increasing the strain on the shoulder. We believe that treating the problem AND its underlying cause is the best way to restore healthy joint function.