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Shoulder problems: Physio Vital

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Shoulder problems can have a huge impact on your daily life, whether it's lifting grocery bags, putting on a coat or playing your favorite sport. Fortunately, Physio Fitaal offers the expertise and support you need to address these symptoms and regain smooth movement.

Cause of shoulder pain

Shoulder Pain can result from a variety of factors, including overuse of the shoulder girdle, injuries to the structures in the shoulder or even complaints of osteoarthritis. The complexity of the shoulder joint and its high degree of range of motion make it susceptible to different types of injuries and conditions. Below we discuss some of the most common shoulder injuries:

physiotherapy shoulder pain
physiotherapy shoulder

Rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff consists of a group of four muscles that work together to stabilize and support the shoulder. Each of these muscles is connected to the scapula and attaches to the head of the upper arm.

Supraspinatus: This muscle is located on the upper side of the shoulder blade and primarily helps lift and abduct (move outward) the arm.

Infraspinatus: Located at the back of the scapula, below the supraspinatus, this muscle aids in rotation and outward movement of the arm.

Teres Minor: Located next to the infraspinatus at the outer edge of the scapula, this small muscle assists in rotating the arm outward and stabilizes the shoulder.

Subscapularis: Located at the front of the shoulder blade, this muscle is responsible for turning the arm inward and also plays a role in the overall stability of the shoulder joint.

The Teres Major is a muscle close to the rotator cuff muscles but not technically part of them.

So the rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder. When these tendons become irritated we speak of tendinitis. This often happens due to overuse and repeated activity. An injury to one of these tendons can also occur with acute injury or due to the aging (degeneration) of the tendons over time. Degenerative tendon injuries in the shoulder occur due to the weakening and wearing down of the tendon. This type of injury is often related to aging and repeated strain on the shoulder tendons over time.

Subacromial pain syndrome (SAPS).

Subacromial pain syndrome is also known as impingement syndrome of the shoulder. This is a condition in which pain occurs in the subacromial space of the shoulder. This space is located below the acromion (the upper bulge of the shoulder blade) and above the head of the humerus (upper arm). On the Internet, this is still often explained as a pain caused by the pinching of tendons or bursa in this space. But actually, this is a perfectly normal anatomical way of moving in the shoulder. Every time you lift the shoulder you are, as it were, pinching different structures of the shoulder. This is just as normal as if when you bend the knee you shrink the space for the anterior cruciate ligament and parts of the meniscus. We are also not saying here that when people squat that they have a meniscus entrapment. It's just that when the meniscus has damage that it becomes painful, that's how it is with the shoulder. The main reason we use this term is because it is extremely difficult to accurately discern the true source of the pain in the subacromial space. Therefore, non-specific terms such as impingement are used instead of more precise anatomical terms such as a subdeltoid bursitis, a supraspinatus tendinopathy or a tear of the infraspinatus.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder is also known in the medical community as Adhesive Capsulitis. This condition is characterized by stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Frozen shoulder is a condition in which the capsule of the shoulder thickens and tightens. This leads to pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint. The exact cause of frozen shoulder is not always clear, but it is often associated with immobilization of the shoulder (for example, after surgery or injury), diabetes and certain other health conditions often hormone-related.

Stages of Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder usually develops in three stages. First, we talk about the freezing stage (Freezing Stage). During this stage, symptoms gradually begin to develop and range of motion begins to decrease. The pain may be worse at night, which may also possibly interfere with sleep. Next comes the frozen stage (Frozen Stage). The pain may begin to subside, but the stiffness remains or gets worse. This makes using the shoulder difficult and can cause problems during daily activities such as dressing, driving or sleeping. Finally, we speak of the thawing stage (Thawing Stage): Mobility gradually begins to improve. Full recovery of mobility can take a long time, even months to years, but most people experience significant improvement in function and pain relief over the long term.

Self-limited disease

A self-limited disease means it is a condition that usually has a self-limiting course and often fully recovers without aggressive medical interventions. But the recovery process of a frozen shoulder is lengthy and can require considerable time and patience. It is important for to understand that full recovery takes time. People with frozen shoulder should be encouraged to stay active and to be patient with the recovery process. It is essential to have realistic expectations about the speed of improvement and eventual recovery. Although frozen shoulder is self-limiting and eventually improves without extensive medical interventions, treatment is aimed at reducing the duration and severity of symptoms and supporting the patient through the long recovery process.

Diagnosis and treatment

The treatment of shoulder pain depends on the underlying cause, the severity of the symptoms, and the specific request for help. Through ultrasound, we can more easily make a statement about the cause of your symptoms. To be able to make a more accurate statement we use ultrasound at Fysio Fitaal in Tilburg. Ultrasound can be used to assess the integrity of the rotator cuff tendons (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis). It helps identify tears, tendinitis, or degenerative (aging) changes.

Subacromial Pain Syndrome (SAPS): In patients with SAPS, ultrasound can help identify bursitis (inflammation of the bursa), thickening of the bursa, and calcifications in the rotator cuff tendons. It also helps visualize the space under the acromion to assess for abnormal narrowing that could lead to impingement.

After diagnosis, we often use a combination of manual therapy, exercise therapy and we will inform you about the possibilities within our practice. Manual Therapy can help regain range of motion and help reduce symptoms. We also put together a personalized exercise program aimed at strengthening the muscles around the shoulder and improving stability and mobility. We understand that every patient is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating shoulder pain. Our experienced physical therapists will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the cause of your symptoms and create a customized treatment plan.

Prevention and support

In addition to treating your current symptoms, we will also provide you with tips and exercises to prevent future shoulder problems. This may include improving your posture, teaching ergonomic lifting techniques and recommending appropriate exercises for home. At Fysio Fitaal, we understand how limiting shoulder problems can be and strive to help you move smoothly again and get your life back. With our expertise and personalized approach, you are in good hands for effective treatment of your shoulder problems. Take contact with us to make an appointment and take the first step towards a pain-free and mobile shoulder. Fysio Fitaal is here to support you so you can get back to doing what energizes you!

physio fitaal physiotherapy
Ruben Luijkx

Owner Physio Vital
Physical therapist, MSC. Manuel therapy

With a solid foundation in scientific knowledge, Ruben combines the latest insights with his practical experience to ensure the best results. As owner of Physio Fitaal, Ruben has created a patient-centered environment that works with innovative techniques and a data-driven approach. Whether you are an elite athlete looking to return to the field or someone recovering from knee surgery, Ruben will guide you to a full recovery, with attention to your individual needs and goals.

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