The shoulder is a great example of a joint that fully represents one of our key treatment philosophies here at Osteo and Physio: to treat the person as a whole and not just focus on the symptomatic area. To function optimally the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint has to work in unison with the other joints, muscles and ligaments around it. The whole region is called the shoulder girdle and there are actually 3 joints and 1 “pseudo” joint that comprise it. Neck or mid-back and shoulder pain are quite often interlinked due to the fact that the shoulder girdle hangs off the spine and the rib cage beneath it. All of these areas have to be balanced and working in harmony for the shoulder to be functioning well.
There is one muscle called your latissimus dorsi that runs from the base of your low back to the front of your shoulder? This is a good example of the range of muscular attachments the shoulder has and how other parts of the body can affect your shoulder joint mechanics.
Most of our patients complain of experiencing pain on the top, front or outer edge of the shoulder. There is an important group of muscles here called the rotator cuff and it is the tendons of these muscles that often get pinched and inflamed. This syndrome can often be a precursor to Frozen Shoulder. Poor posture often plays a significant role in the insidious development of this pathology, think of a typical office worker slumping in front of a computer all day: rounded shoulders, increased curve from the mid-back and a forward head. This compromised posture places the shoulder joint in a non-optimal position and the tendons are the tissues that most commonly get damaged as a result.
Shoulder pain can be long lasting and difficult to cure due to the fact that so many other variables affect the joint. We often see patients who have put up with their shoulder discomfort for months and who are disheartened by the lack of lasting relief they get from painkillers with their discomfort often spreading to the neck and mid-back. The good news is that we have seen thousands of patients with shoulder pain over the years and we have an excellent track record of being able to help the vast majority of the patients that come in for treatment in the practice.
If you are suffering from any shoulder pain or symptoms you feel may be associated, please phone the practice and speak to one of our team who will be able to advise you accordingly.