Shoulder Pain


There is an old song that goes something like “ the hip bone is connected to the thigh bone, the thigh bone is connected to the knee bone…”. If you remember this song note that shoulder stiffness and damage is fairly common in those 50 and over.


Posture is important. For the shoulder the connections are a bit complicated because the shoulder bone (humerus) is connected to the shoulder blade (scapula), the shoulder blade is connected to the collar bone (clavicle) and also rests on the ribs, and the collar bone is connected to the sternum, which is connected to the ribs, and the ribs are connected to vertebrae. All of these bones and joints are a consideration in shoulder pain. Muscles  supporting the shoulder attach to the cervical, thoracic and lumbar sections of the spine.


When things go wrong the source of the problem could be from a lot of different sources. Your physiotherapist can help diagnose what is bringing on your shoulder pain. Part of the process is carefully listening to what you have to say about the history of the condition, the nature and behavior of the pain and dysfunction, and various special questions. Part of the process is observing and selectively testing the shoulder and surrounding region. Part is arranging imaging when required to see what is going on. From this process we can work out what is going on, and then work on planning, treatment and outcomes.


Treatment looks at posture because this makes such a difference to the shoulder functioning well. Muscle strengths, lengths and activity are assessed and treated to recreate the right balance. Specific therapies such as Trigger Point Therapy, Mobilization With Movement or joint or soft tissue mobilization may be used to get the best and quickest results. In tendon damage to the rotator cuff, support through strapping tape can assist with pain relief and better healing and function. Dry needling and electrotherapy such as laser are options. Your physiotherapist is the expert in providing hands on and exercise therapy. So if you are in pain, or if your shoulder is not what it used to be, give us a call. And if you can correct the words to the opening song send us an email.

Call us on 4632 6233




Physiotherapy member