Understanding shoulder injuries

The shoulder is one of the most mobile joints in the body.

It is also the joint with the ability to move the highest speed – Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar bowled the fastest ball ever recorded in cricket in 2003, a nimble 161.3km/h (100.2mph)!

We are not all fast bowlers, however taking care of our shoulders is essential for everyone.

The shoulder joint is often overworked because we use our arms every day for many different daily activities, work, and sport.

As a result, shoulder pain is prevalent, as any of the structures in the shoulder can become injured.

A minor shoulder injury can cause long term complications if left untreated.

The importance of shoulder stability

Shoulder stability is highly dependent on muscles as the rounded socket is quite shallow and lacks strong ligaments.

The primary stabilisers include the Biceps muscle on the front of the arm and the Rotator cuff tendons.

The rotator cuff is made up of 4 small muscles and their tendons that cover the ball of the joint and keep it in the socket.

Causes of shoulder injuries

Causes of acute, or sudden injuries can be caused by falls, direct trauma, tackling or aggressive contact, and gym equipment like the bench press.

Causes of chronic shoulder issues include repetitive strain or long-term wear and tear. These can come from overuse from sport or overhead work activities which are repetitive.

Symptoms of shoulder injury:
  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Loss of range of movement
  • Muscle spasm
  • Limited functional ability of normal activities of daily living

Physiotherapy treatment for shoulder injuries

Your physiotherapist is well-equipped to help you treat and rehabilitate your shoulder issues.

With the right support, you can get back to doing what you enjoy.

By consulting with a physiotherapist, not only do you get a diagnosis, but you also get a treatment and rehabilitation plan.

Physiotherapy treatment may include:
  • Massage – including soft tissue and trigger point release
  • Shoulder joint mobilisation
  • Muscle balance techniques
  • Tendon cross friction/deep friction massage
  • ‘K-taping’ and joint support
  • Dry needling
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
Additionally, your physiotherapist can assist your recovery by providing you with educational resources and information.

This is one of the ways your treating professionals can work with you to ensure maximum rehabilitation and long-term recovery for your shoulders.

So you can get back to doing what you love – whether it’s back on the sports field, social exercise or tinkering in the garden.

To assess your shoulder pain or injury, book a consultation with an APM physiotherapist in your local area or by calling 0800 967 522.