The shoulder complex is made up of 4 joints; the most well known of which is a ball and socket shaped joint. The anatomy of the complex allows it a great degree of movement. This is very useful to allow us to position the rest of the arm for specific tasks e.g. catch a ball, use a computer mouse, brush our hair, put on a seat belt etc. The downside of having so much movement available at the shoulder is that a more convoluted control system is required, made up of ligaments and muscles and this complexity of this system means that the shoulder is more vulnerable to injury than the other ball and socket joint in the body; the hip.
As Clinical Specialists in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, we specialise in the assessment and treatment of problems at the shoulder; such as rotator cuff injuries, frozen shoulder or overuse injuries. We can also design evidence-based rehabilitation programmes post shoulder fracture or dislocation.
Rotator cuff injuries
Symptoms include pain on specific shoulder movements (often overhead) and with specific tests that target these muscles. The pain may be as a result of pinching of one of the rotator cuff tendons or even a tendon tear.
Your physiotherapy treatment will depend on your specific problem but may include: manual therapy, an exercise programme, analysis and modification of your training regime/ ergonomics/ activities of daily living. Sometimes an MRI or surgery is required, and onward referral to a shoulder specialist will be carried out where appropriate.
However, physiotherapy is a crucial part of the recovery process- in regaining normal movement and function of the shoulder. An injection in the shoulder can be helpful in the early stages of a frozen shoulder along with a physiotherapy programme.
Sometimes surgery is required in cases of repeat dislocation, after which you will need post operative physiotherapy to restore normal movement, strength and function with a progressive rehabilitation programme.
Tel: (01) 797 9545