Shoulder pain what should you do

Shoulder pain can be one of the most debilitating injuries for people to live with. If you are experiencing a sharp catch of pain when taking you arm above your head you may be suffering from a shoulder injury known as rotator cuff tendinopathy. The rotator cuff muscles are a group of muscles that sit around the shoulder. Their primary function is to stabilize the shoulder in its socket. If a person is participating in regular overhead activities such as swimming or tennis and these muscles are not properly conditioned the shoulder loses it overall stability and the tendons of these muscles can become pinched against the bony surfaces. Over time this leads to the tendons becoming inflamed, thickened and weakened. If shoulder pain is left untreated the symptoms can increase in both severity and frequency. The first line of treatment for settling this condition is to reduce the inflammation in the tendons. This is best achieved through a combination of electrotherapy devices administered by a physiotherapist and regular icing and anti-inflammatory medications. Once the inflammation has settled correcting the causative factors is critical to ensuring long term recovery of the shoulder. Two of the most common factors affecting correct shoulder function are muscle tightness and rotator cuff weakness. The most common area where muscle tightness predisposes a person to rotator cuff tendinopathy is at the back of their shoulder. Excessive tightness in this area changes the resting position of the shoulder so that the shoulder sits slightly elevated and slightly forward. This change in the resting position of the shoulder means that the tendons of the shoulder are more likely to become pinched by the bony surfaces when attempting any arm movement. If weakness is apparent in the rotator cuff muscle groups the shoulder is less stable and movement will not be as well controlled. Repeated overhead work or repetition of a specific task that requires the rotator cuff muscles to work predisposes a person to rotator cuff tendinopathy. Individuals are unable to control their shoulder movement leading to pinching of the tendons against the bony surfaces. Over time the repetition of shoulder movement and the pinching of the tendons will lead to thickening and weakening and increasing overall recovery time. Early diagnosis and management of shoulder pain is essential to ensure recovery time is minimized. Physiotherapy can assist in also correcting any predisposing factors contributing to the condition to ensure long term recovery of your shoulder.

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