Shoulder & arm pain

Shoulder pain is extremely common and can severely limit activity. The shoulder is naturally quite an unstable joint with the ball at the top of the upper arm simply floating in a shallow socket. Hence, the reason the shoulder joint can commonly become dislocated. This lack of natural joint stability means that the shoulder, almost more than any other joint, is dependent on the interaction and balance of the muscles around the shoulder complex.

Careful assessment of movement and function is the key. Common conditions include:

  • Impingement syndrome
  • Rotator cuff tear – see case study ►
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Weightlifters shoulder
  • Shoulder instability
  • Osteoarthritis of the shoulder or acromioclavicular joints 

Shoulder stiffness and pain can be further compromised by lack of mobility or instability of the shoulder blade. Since, so many of us spend a lot of our time with our shoulders drawn forwards, whilst sitting at a desk, working at the computer or driving, the shoulder blades become drawn forwards around the rib cage. This means the ball and socket joint of the shoulder becomes ‘crowded’ and is then not in the best position to swing freely. Treatment is aimed at encouraging a better balance of muscle tension around the shoulder and shoulder blades.