Shoulder Pain

Are you suffering from shoulder pain?

Are you suffering from shoulder pain?

Shoulder problems including pain and restriction can be a common aliment of many people, whether it affects your social, working or sporting activities, there is no doubt that it is a problem you would rather be without.

Due to the structure and function of the shoulder joint it is recognized as the most movable joint in the body. The drawback to this advantage is the potential for it to become unstable which increases the likelihood of damage and injury.

There are more than 20 muscles involved in the movement of the shoulder joint and three bones comprising the shoulder girdle making even small simplistic movements a challenge if certain structures are functioning below their optimum. These three bones make up four joints and all four have to work together in a synchronous rhythm to permit universal motion.

Shoulder pain maybe localized or may be referred to areas around the shoulder, for example down the arm or into the neck.  
Disease within the body may also produce pain within the shoulder. It is the job of your health care professional to establish whether or not this is the case. Much more commonly, pain is due to bruised or torn ligaments, tendonitis, trapped nerves, muscle strain, tears, or mechanical imbalances of muscle groups which all fall under the umbrella of musculo-skeletal disorders.

Common shoulder injuries

The majority of problems involving the shoulder involve the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, rather than the bones. Athletes are particularly susceptible to shoulder problems.  A slow progressive nature is common in shoulder injuries.

It is not uncommon to have patients come to the practice after suffering with a shoulder pain for several months, having tried intently to ignore the discomfort only to realise that the time has come to do something about it. People also may underestimate the extent of their injury because steady pain, weakness in the arm, or limitation of joint motion will become almost second nature to them.

It is common practice to group shoulder problems into the following categories.


Under certain stresses one of the shoulder joints moves or is forced out of its normal position. This condition is called instability, and can result in a subluxation (partial dislocatioin) or even dislocation of one of the joints in the shoulder. Individuals suffering from an instability problem will experience pain when raising their arm. They also may feel as if their shoulder is slipping out of place.


Impingement is caused by excessive rubbing of one of the shoulder muscles against the under surface part of the shoulder blade, called the acromion.

Impingement problems can occur during activities that require excessive overhead arm motion. Medical care should be sought immediately for inflammation in the shoulder because it could eventually lead to a more serious injury.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is one of the most important components of the shoulder. It is comprised of a group of four muscles that hold the bones of the shoulder joint together. The rotator cuff muscles provide individuals with the ability to perform complex ranges of movement. When the rotator cuff is injured, people sometimes do not recover the full shoulder function needed to properly participate in an athletic activity.