A common shoulder complaint that Physiofusion regularly treat are shoulder impingements (also known as subacromial pain syndrome). This issue actually accounts for almost 70% of all new shoulder pain problems seen within the UK.
Shoulder impingement is a condition whereby the structures surrounding the shoulder, such as the rotator cuff tendons or subacromial bursa, become pinched or trapped; particularly when performing overhead movements of the shoulder joint.
Pain associated with this condition is most commonly located at the top and outer areas of the shoulder and sometimes leading down towards the elbow. It is often that we would notice sharp pains when attempting simple things, such as, reaching into a cupboard or when you are putting your seatbelt on.
The primary aim of physiotherapy is to ensure the rotator cuff muscles are working well and supporting the shoulder joint. This involves individually assessing us and prescribing the most appropriate exercises based on our case.
Research has also shown that joint mobilisation of the neck and upper back has a role in symptom relief. Mobilising the upper spine allows the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade to activate more efficiently, whereby mobilisation of the neck helps to decrease the pain intensity around the shoulder.
Physiofusion’s self-management tips:
Try to avoid aggravating activities until the symptoms settle down; for example, lying on the affected side or repetitively reaching overhead.
If your symptoms are acute, try applying ice over the shoulder joint. This will help relieve pain as well as decreasing inflammation if it is present. Ice can be applied for up to 20 minutes. Ensure that ice is wrapped within a wet towel to avoid ice burns.
If symptoms are more chronic, heat may be more effective for providing pain relief, as well as helping to relieve tension of the shoulder musculature. Try applying a wheat-bag over the shoulder for up to 20 minutes, ensuring that it is not too hot as there is a risk of burns.
If you would like to talk to Physiofusion further about any queries you have regarding an injury or problem, you can message them directly using their FREE Ask-A-Physio service online http://www.physiofusion.co.uk/other-services-2/ask-a-physio/.