What are the common causes of shoulder pain?

By Russell Tuckerman, Principal Physiotherapist at East Gosford Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Centre

The common cause of insidious onset shoulder pain is the impingement of the bursa and rotator cuff tendon between a ridge of bone called the acromion and the ball of the shoulder joint.

This causes an inflammation or irritation of the bursa (called Bursitis) and rotator cuff tendon (called Tendinopathy).

What causes shoulder impingement?

Shoulder impingement occurs when the tendon and bursa become squashed between the acromion and upper arm bone or ball of the shoulder and will happen if the shoulder blade (scapular) is positioned incorrectly (poor posture) or moves too much.

How to relieve shoulder pain.

To relieve shoulder pain you need to position your shoulder blade in a position which allows for the ball of your shoulder joint to move freely under the bony ridge of the shoulder blade or acromion.

To achieve this, you will need to:

  • Improve shoulder girdle and upper back posture.
  • Relax tight muscles (massage and stretching).
  • Develop rotator cuff strength (often muscles become weak).
  • Allow ball and socket (gleno-humeral) joint movement without the ball riding up and squashing the bursa and tendon.
  • Reduce spasm and abnormal muscle tension.
  • Reduce inflammation and swelling in the bursa (Bursitis)

Does Physiotherapy Help with Shoulder Impingement?

A physiotherapy trained in shoulder biomechanics can help you achieve this improved shoulder girdle function with education of posture, massage, stretching and shoulder blade positioning both in resting and dynamic positions.

A physiotherapist will assess WHY you have shoulder pain or impingement and will use massage and mobilisation techniques to improve mobility of the rotator cuff and shoulder joint and advise on how to use your muscles correctly around your shoulder blade. They will also advise you on a strengthening program for your rotator cuff to help you maintain the position of the ball and socket joint with function.

East Gosford Physiotherapy is a leading supplier of high-quality Physiotherapy services in the Gosford area, on the Central Coast of NSW. They have highly trained physiotherapists ready to help you with your shoulder pain, and will diagnose the problem, create a management pain to get you pain free, and set you up with a program to stop the pain re-occurring.

“Five simple ways to Relieve Shoulder Bursitis at home today”

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