How do shoulder complaints arise?
Shoulder complaints occur on a regular basis. Sometimes shoulder pain is also a recurring injury. Possible causes of shoulder pain are heavy physical work or sport. The symptoms are often provoked by moving the arm upwards. It is possible that there is radiation towards the upper arm or towards the shoulder blades. It is often difficult to sleep on the injured shoulder. Especially in the first period after the occurrence of shoulder pain, it is difficult to carry out your daily activities. It is often difficult and painful to go shopping, to lift heavy things or to do sports that require a lot of use of your arms.
Anatomy of the shoulder
The shoulder joint consists of the humerus(upper arm bone), scapula(shoulder blade) and clavicle(collarbone). The joint between the upper arm and the shoulder blade is called the glenohumeral joint. The clavicle with the scapula is the acromioclavicular joint. Another joint of the shoulder area is the scapulothoracic joint. This is the joint between the scapula and the ribs. These joints allow the shoulder to move in many different directions. The shoulder contains many different muscles and tendons. The function of these muscles is to move and stabilize the shoulder during various daily movements. There are smaller muscles that are closer to the joint but also larger muscles that have a more powerful function. Anatomically, a distinction is made between a local muscle system and a global muscle system. Functionally, however, they have largely the same function.
Causes of shoulder pain
We can classify shoulder pain into 3 types:
- Under the roof of the scapula, certain anatomical structures can become irritated. You will usually feel this when you move your arm sideways. You can think of bursitis or tendonitis of one of the shoulder muscles. But also complaints resulting from a fall or aging tendon tissue.
- Complaints that have to do with structures between the head and the socket of the shoulder. One of the most common complaints is, for example, a frozen shoulder Or osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint.
- It is also possible to have shoulder pain as a result of neck pain. It may be that complaints you feel in the shoulder have a different cause. Usually a nerve from the neck is responsible for this pain. Other small joints around the shoulder can also be the cause of shoulder pain. The joint with the collarbone or the joint with sternum can be responsible for shoulder pain.
Physiotherapy for shoulder pain
During the examination we will look at the possible cause of your shoulder pain. On the basis of the examination a clear treatment plan will be drawn up. Keeping moving with shoulder pain is very important to preserve the mobility in the shoulder. Besides specific advice, the treatment can consist of: restoring the mobility by manual therapy, dry needling, various muscle techniques and training the muscles of the upper back and shoulder by means of exercise therapy.