The shoulder is made up of four muscles plus their tendons making it the most movable joint in the body. This group of muscles and tendons are called the rotator cuff.
There are a number of possible explanations for shoulder pain – we have separate information pages for each of the three most common conditions:
- Shoulder Tendonitis/ rotator cuff tendinosis
- Adhesive Capsulitis (also known as a frozen shoulder)
- Calcific Tendinitis
Here is a short overview of each of these conditions.
Rotator Cuff Tendinosis/Shoulder Tendonitis
Rotator cuff tendinosis is the development of small tears in the tissue surrounding the tendon. It occurs over time due to genetics, activity or age. There is no inflammation associated with this condition so you are unlikely to see any swelling or hot spots.
This condition develops over time even if it is as a result of an injury. Symptoms can include:-
- Stiffness and restricted movement of the shoulder
- Severe shoulder pain when lying on the affected shoulder
- Some weakness of the shoulder joint
- Difficulty with everyday tasks such as getting dressed, lifting the arm above the head and brushing your hair.
Adhesive Capsulitis /Frozen Shoulder?
The technical name for a frozen shoulder is adhesive capsulitis. Symptoms typically include stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint which leads to restricted movement.
Pain is intense but short lived when the shoulder is moved in a particular way. Patients will often have difficulty doing simple tasks such as getting dressed or just lifting their arms up.
The longer it is left without treatment the more restricted the movement.
Calcific tendinitis of the shoulder occurs when deposits of calcium build up in one of the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles, specifically supraspinatus. This deposit can lead to irritation and inflammation of the tendon which causes pain and alters the function of the rotator cuff. The pain from calcific tendinitis can be extremely unpleasant. In some circumstances the calcium build-up and subsequent inflammation is sufficient to cause a “subacromial impingement” between the deposit and one of the bones (the acromion) when the arm is moved in certain directions. There is no known cause for this calcification process, it occurs most commonly between 30 and 60 years of age and can, eventually resolve of its own accord; although this can take some years. This video explains more about this condition.
What treatments are available for a shoulder pain?
There are a number of treatment options from manipulation to injections and even surgery. One of the newest treatments available is shockwave therapy. This is one of the best treatment for shoulder injuries.
It is clinically proven that pressure waves, when applied to injured tissues, stimulate metabolic reactions, in less technical terms it encourages the body to heal itself. These reactions include:-
- Reduction of pain felt by nerve fibers
- Increased blood circulation in surrounding soft tissues
- Beginning of healing process triggered by stem cells activation
Who can help me?
If you are having shoulder pain – call us – we offer a free 15 minute consultation via phone – our receptionists can make you an appointment to talk to one of our senior therapists. More information is available via this link.
Call 0118 930 3535 to book your appointment today.