Shoulder Pain and Osteopathy

Shoulder Pain

Can An Osteopath Help With My Shoulder Pain?

What Can Cause Shoulder Pain?

What is OsteopathyMost shoulder problems only affect a small area and should last a relatively short time. But sometimes the problem in your shoulder could be part of a wider, long-term condition.

There are several possible causes of shoulder pain, such as:

  • Inflammation, where your shoulder becomes hot, red, swollen and painful as a natural reaction to an infection or injury
  • Damage to the muscles and tendons around the shoulder
  • Tension in the muscles between the neck and shoulder – this is usually down to your posture in your upper back or neck and is often linked to the way you stand or sit when you’re using a computer or at work
  • Inflammation in the bursa – a fluid-filled cushion that normally helps the muscles and tendons slide smoothly over the shoulder bones
  • Damage to the bones and cartilage, which can be caused by arthritis.

It’s also possible the pain you’re feeling in your shoulder is coming from a problem in another part of your body, such as your neck. Problems in your neck can make your shoulder blade or upper outer arm painful. When this happens it’s known as referred pain or radiated pain. If you’re feeling a tingling sensation in your hand or arm, as well as pain in your shoulder, it’s likely to be from a problem in your neck.

How Can You Treat Shoulder Pain?

back painPainkillers

Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen tablets and gels, from a chemist or supermarket, can help. A pharmacist should be able to give you good advice on what could work best for your condition. But don’t use them for more than two weeks without seeking further medical advice.

Heat or Cold Therapy

An ice pack may be helpful if your shoulder is painful after a minor injury or if it’s swollen and warmer to touch than the other side. Alternatively, heat packs can help with most other types of shoulder pain, particularly if your muscles feel sore and tense. Chemists and sports shops sell reusable heat pads. Or you could use a microwaveable wheat bag or a hot-water bottle, wrapped in something dry, such as a towel, on the painful area for up to 20 minutes.

Shoulder PainPosture

Bad posture or working habits, such as slouching at your desk, can make your shoulder problems worse.

Try these tips:

  • When you’re sitting down try to avoid leaning forwards and resting on your arms too much.
  • Try to relax your shoulders and let your arms hang by your sides, rather than gripping them tightly into your sides, especially if some of the pain is coming from your neck.
  • Change your position often.
  • Sit in an upright position.
  • Support your lower back with a pillow, cushion or a chair with lumbar support to improve your upper body posture.

If your shoulder is painful when you lie down, try:

  • Lying on your good side with a pillow under your neck
  • Using a folded pillow to support your painful arm in front of your body
  • Placing another pillow behind your back to stop yourself from rolling onto your painful side
  • Using one or two pillows under your painful arm for support, if you prefer to sleep on your back.


Shoulder PainMost shoulder problems will benefit from Osteopathy.

Osteopaths are highly trained manual therapists who can help reduce your shoulder pain and show you how to improve the way your shoulder works by using a variety of strengthening and stretching exercises, massage and other therapeutic techniques.

They’ll work with you to improve your symptoms and help get your shoulder moving properly again. What they suggest for you will depend on whether your problem is short-term or a long-standing condition. Almost everyone will benefit from osteopathy, using methods such as:

  • Exercises to strengthen weakened muscles, change their co-ordination and improve function
  • Advice on improving shoulder, neck, and spine posture
  • Exercises to ease or prevent stiffness
  • Exercise to increase the range of joint movement
  • Applying adhesive tape ( K-tape) to the skin to reduce the strain on the tissues, and to help increase your awareness of the position of the shoulder and shoulder blade
  • manual treatments to the soft tissues and joints – such as massage and manipulation.


Shoulder Strengthening Exercises:

Bent Over Row

Arm Bar

Landmine Press

Book your appointment with us today and get help from our passionate Osteopaths, who are committed to helping you find lasting pain relief!

Equilibrium Sports and Spine Clinic is your local provider of osteopathy services. We offer a wide range of Osteopathy treatments to the communities surrounding Glen Iris, Malvern, Hawthorn, Caulfield, Ashburton Camberwell Kooyong South Yarra Toorak. Take care of your upper back pain by booking an appointment today!


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