Mobility vs Stability
The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body. That’s vey useful as it allows us to move our hand freely in space and reach up high, or across the body or even behind our back to put a coat on for example. Despite the advantages of this mobility, there is an inherent risk that comes with it. Where there is mobility present there is often a lack of stability. It’s quite simple really.
Lots of mobility = reduced stability
Lots of stability = reduced mobility
Accurate Diagnosis is essential
That doesn’t necessarily mean its difficult to treat though. Getting the right diagnosis is the most important first step. It informs the treatment process but crucially the exercise and rehab plan. There is increasing evidence to support that with the right exercise selection, that surgery can often be avoided; and has no better or worse results than a well structured rehab plan at follow ups.
Different structures cause different symptoms
Pain in the shoulder is common and has a number of causes. The pain can come from the shoulder joint itself, from a direct trauma, fall or sprain for example. Often shoulder pain can actually be caused by problems with the upper back or neck, this is know as referred pain, where the cause or origin of the pain is felt elsewhere. Determining the root cause of the pain is fundamental in shoulder pain recovery.
The way in which you use your shoulder will be assessed in detail to see if there are ways that the shoulder could be being affected by day to day tasks, such as working at computers or working overhead for long periods of time.
How can treatment help?
Treatment approaches vary dependent on the cause. As it is common for the shoulder to just be the symptomatic location of pain, you may find that your osteopath focus’ on the cause away from site in areas mentioned like the neck and upper back. This is of course dependent on the nature of the injury.
Rotator cuff injuries are very common and getting the right exercises is essential. The same applies to frozen shoulder. Once diagnosed you may be given local soft tissue treatment as well as home loosening and strengthening exercises to help speed up recover.
The joints in the upper back and neck are common referral sites to the shoulder. These may need to be loosened or mobilised with an array of techniques suited to every individual.