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Frequently Asked Questions on Shoulder Pains

shoulder painThe shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body, allowing us the widest range of movement. This also means that the shoulders are most prone to injuries as are they the most unstable joint.

Most people don’t pay attention to shoulder health until their shoulders start hurting and affecting their quality of life, preventing them from carrying out simple daily activities such as wearing their clothes.

Here, we discuss and answer the frequently asked questions regarding shoulder pain from a physiotherapist’s perspective.

Are you experiencing shoulder pain? Schedule an appointment with one of our physiotherapists today. Simply contact us via one of the 3 methods below.

Questions
  1. What are the common causes of shoulder pains?

  2. At what point should i see a physiotherapist for my shoulder pain?

  3. How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

  4. How do you treat shoulder pain?

  5. Shoulder Pain - Does it require surgery?

  6. How do you prevent shoulder pain?

  7. What type of sports should I stay away from if I have shoulder pain?


Answers

    Q1: What are the common causes of shoulder pains?

    Most shoulder pain arises due to 4 main reasons:

    1. Muscular or tendon overuse
    2. Instability
    3. Degenerative changes
    4. Weakness of shoulder blade stabilising muscles
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    Q2: At what point should i see a physiotherapist for my shoulder pain?

    If the pain is persistent for more than a week despite medication of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and continues to affect functional activities e.g. putting on or taking off clothing; carrying or lifting a load; reaching hand behind back etc. or may be even affecting the quality of sleep.

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    Q3: How is shoulder pain diagnosed?

    Our physiotherapists will ask specific questions and perform a physical assessment that will help determine the mechanism driving your pain. Eg: a muscle strain can be painful but the root of the pain may be from certain weakness, tightness or compensatory strategies. The physiotherapist will have to do tests to help understand the root of the problem. If further clarification is necessary then investigations such as an XRay or MRI might be recommended.

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    Q4: How do you treat shoulder pain?

    Common Physiotherapy treatment methods are as follows:

    • Soft tissue releases
    • Joint mobilisation
    • Postural correction
    • Progressive strengthening programme
    • Stretching exercises
    • Activity modification
    • Heat/ice therapy
    • Ultrasound therapy
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    Q5: Shoulder Pain - Does it require surgery?

    The need for surgery depends largely on the severity of the condition. In less severe cases, Shoulder Pain can be treated conservatively while in severe cases, some may require surgery.

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    Q6: How do you prevent shoulder pain?

    Shoulder pain can be prevented by performing regular strengthening and stretching exercises for your shoulders and ensuring good posture is maintained. Also avoid sudden increases in activity level, instead ease your body into the transition.
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    Q7: What type of sports should I stay away from if I have shoulder pain?

    shoulder painMost shoulder injury gives pain during overhead activities, hence sports like tennis, swimming, badminton might aggravate. A general rule of thumb is that if the activity causes pain, stop. Your physiotherapist can advise you after an assessment to suggest what can be safe to do.
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