It is estimated that between 2-4% of all primary care visits (Hospital or GP surgeries) in the UK are a result of shoulder pain. It is also believed that throughout a lifetime, 40% of the world’s population will suffer from some form of shoulder pain. This is most likely due to the nature and structure of the shoulder joint. Did you know that there are 27 possible movements available at the shoulder joint, more than any other joint in the body. It is also the most commonly dislocated joint in the body too. Click here to read more about dislocations and their treatment at Bodylogics.
Our Approach to Care
When diagnosing shoulder related pain there are a number of possible mechanisms that can be causing it. Sometimes the neck region can play a part in the pain due to the neural complexes that pass out of here and into the shoulder girdle area. In other cases it is much simpler. We will explore briefly some of the more common pathologies that we see in clinic.
This has historically been known as an impingement of the Supraspinatus tendon which passes under the acromial joint and is ‘pinched’ when the arms are raised out to our sides. Surgery has often been used to treat this condition but a recent study has drawn criticism of this intervention, highlighting that those who received a placebo style surgery (not actually having the surgery but believing they have) made similar or identical progress to those who had the surgery. An interesting and thoughtful topic for discussion.
The rotator cuff plays an important part in helping to stabilise the shoulder joint on any movement. It consists of four muscles which work in conjunction with each other to drawer the humeral head deep into the shoulder cavity to help prevent unnecessary movement occurring. When this is weak or over worked it can either tear or become inflamed. Read more here on our Rotator Cuff section.
The Labrum is a fibrous structure that adds additional support to the humeral head of the shoulder. This vital structure is damaged during extreme shoulder movements and can create high levels of pain. It is often associated with a clicking/catching sensation and sharp episodes of pain, coupled alongside a deep dull ache within the shoulder joint. There are specific tests that can be performed to either rule in or rule out a Labrum Tear. See here for more information on Labrum Tears