How can physiotherapy help with a shoulder injury?
Feeling like you have more than a little weight on your shoulders? You are not alone. Here at Fairfield Physiotherapy, we meet many people suffering from pain caused by a shoulder injury. The majority of shoulder injuries are brought about by excessive or repetitive motions during sport, manual labour or even everyday activities such as hanging curtains. Let’s explore the most common types of shoulder injuries and how physiotherapy can help.
WHAT IS A SHOULDER INJURY?
If you find yourself suffering from a great deal of shoulder or neck pain after a workout or a series of long days at the office, you may have a shoulder injury.
Such injuries can vary greatly from one person to the next but the most common types of shoulder injuries include:
- Rotator cuff injuries – shoulder injuries such as rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendonitis, and rotator cuff impingement
- Frozen shoulder – chronic shoulder pain and stiffness which gradually worsens until the shoulder can barely be moved
- Dislocated shoulder – where the head of the humerus bone is forced out of the shoulder socket
- Separation – where the ligaments between the collarbone and the shoulder blade have been torn
- Fracture – a crack through part or all of the bone (often involving the collarbone or upper arm bone)
- Shoulder impingement – when there is pinching one or more tendons within the shoulder joint (especially during overhead movements)
- Arthritis of the shoulder
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A SHOULDER INJURY?
The shoulder is made up of the humerus (arm bone), scapula (shoulder blade) and clavicle (collar bone) and is surrounded by many ligaments and muscles that support the shoulder and help it move. Our shoulder joints allow for a high degree of mobility, but this also means it is less stable and more prone to injuries than other joints of the body.
Symptoms of a shoulder injury to look out for include pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, changes in temperature or colour of the skin, and changes in the range of motion you have in this part of the body.
HOW CAN A PHYSIOTHERAPIST HELP WITH A SHOULDER INJURY?
The key to overcoming any shoulder injury is quickly identifying the type of injury and applying an appropriate pain management and rehabilitation plan. That is where physiotherapy can help! By diagnosing and effectively treating your injury, we can help you overcome pain and discomfort, as well as help prevent further injury occurring.
Diagnosis: First and most importantly, a physiotherapist will need to diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain. This is incredibly important because understanding where your pain is coming from will determine the type of treatment you receive.
Our physiotherapists conduct a range of motion and muscle strength tests to help identify where the pain is felt, both at rest and during movement of the shoulder.
Treatment: After diagnosing your shoulder pain, we ascertain the best way to relieve any pain and inflammation. In many cases, intermittently applying an ice pack to the affected area can be incredibly effective and if more help is needed with immediate pain relief, doctors can also prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
As pain and inflammation subsides and your shoulder begins to heal, your physiotherapist will then focus on restoring your range of movement and building muscle in the area – to help prevent further injury.
Your physiotherapist can assist you with a suitable range of motion exercises and strengthening and rehabilitation exercises during your recovery.
If you’re looking for a physio for a shoulder injury or wish to discuss your symptoms, make an appointment with Fairfield Physiotherapy on (03) 9489 7744. We’ll arrange your comprehensive consultation and begin a course of corrective care today!