In our fast paced lifestyles no one has time to sit on the sidelines with an injury. Be it time on the bench or time away from the gym, injuries are frustrating! And shoulder injuries are some of the most common condition we see in the clinical setting. So what can we do to reduce the chance of injuries? Optimal shoulder function is essential to minimise the likelihood of injury. Participating in sports that rely heavily on the upper body – such as weight training in the gym, tennis, golf, swimming, wake-boarding or water skiing increase the chance of injury to the shoulder. To be honest even home maintenance work can cause shoulder problems. A large percentage of these injuries involve the Rotator cuff. The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of four muscles – Subscapularis, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus and Teres Minor (some texts also include the Biceps as part of the cuff – making 5 muscles) and tendons that cross the top and back of the shoulder and attach onto the Humerus, (arm bone) at the top of the shoulder joint. Most commonly the Supraspinatus tendon is affected. Any activity that uses repetitive overhead motions or sustained postures can result in inflammation of these tendons, leading to pain and dysfunction. Some of the more common shoulder problems include:
Impingement Syndrome – When the rotator cuff tendons become pinched in the joint due to narrowing of the joint space; this is commonly due to either inflammation or arthritic changes.
Bursitis – Inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sacs) around the shoulder that normally are present to provide cushioning.
Muscle Strain – Can occur in the upper shoulder muscles such as the upper Trapezius, Supraspinatus, Biceps or in the Deltoid muscle at the side of the shoulder.
Generally speaking If you notice pain or soreness in your shoulder following any repetitive activities or sports it is a good idea to apply an ice pack for 10 mins, 3-5 times per day to help try decrease any inflammation that may be present.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Injuries:
The type of treatments that you will receive depends on the specific condition that you have and whether you’ve undergone surgery or not. In addition, your therapist will likely ask about your goals for rehabilitation. Each treatment session is tailored specifically to you and your dysfunction.
Osteopathic and Myotherapy treatments for shoulder injuries may be composed of a combination of any of the following:
- Heat pack application Dry Needling
- Soft tissue mobilisation Shoulder joint mobilisation
- Range of motion exercises Stretching or flexibility exercises
- General conditioning exercis Muscle strengthening exercises
- Patient education Precautions and activity modification
- Home or Gym based strengthening exercise programs
- Return to work or sports rehabilitation program
Osteopathic and Myotherapy treatment and advice can dramatically improve the treatment and prevention of shoulder pain.