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Shoulder Injuries

Only 1% of adults with new shoulder pain consult their GP each year but as shoulders are the most moveable joints in our body they are inevitably vulnerable to instability because the ball of the upper arm is larger than the shoulder socket that holds it in place. The shoulder joint is composed of three bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). The muscles, tendons and ligaments provide a supportive structure which helps keep the shoulder in the correct position.

Although some problems are referred from the cervical spine, a substantial number are caused by the working environment. Cashiers, pneumatic tool operators, construction workers, plasterers and bricklayers are at particular risk, as are sports players. In particular games that involve considerable overhead action such as tennis, rugby, swimming, badminton and netball can cause troublesome shoulder problems. Over the years, the OCPM has witnessed a rise in the number of work related disorders such as repetitive strain injury and ‘mouse shoulder’.

Poor posture is another trigger. It’s worth noting that when tennis pro Andy Murray prepares for a forehand or backhand he displays both poise and strength, efficiently controlling his trunk as he hits the ball. But many amateur athletes are unable to engage their stomach muscles in this way, often the result of bad posture, which can cause problems down the line.

Restricted mobility in the upper back can be problematic too but, quite often, the simple act of generating movement and extension in this area can open up the top section of the trunk, thereby reducing pressure on the shoulder joint and the intrinsic muscles and tendons.

Common shoulder problems include:

  • Tendonitis
  • Dislocations
  • Torn rotator cuffs
  • Sprains and strains
  • Frozen shoulders
  • Arthritis
  • Hyper-mobility
  • Impingements, bursitis and calicific tendinopathies

Shoulder pain can also be ‘referred’ from other parts of the body such as the gallbladder and heart.

Whatever your shoulder symptom, our experienced team will be able to diagnose and treat your condition, improve flexibility and offer advice on preventative measures.

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