Rotator Cuff Pain
Rotator Cuff pain / Shoulder Impingement
Shoulder pain can be annoying! It affects your sleep, your job, your hobbies and generally you whole life. Sometimes you can’t even remember how it started. Or it happens every time you reach for the top cupboard! The pain can be an ache, sharp or stabbing pain over your shoulder. Other symptoms can be down your arm to your elbow, maybe even tingling into your fingers. You know what I’m on about!
Shoulder impingement starts from a result of sport or working out at the gym. It can be there when you sit at your desk using the mouse. Even the strong guys with heavy manual jobs get pain when repetitively lifting their arm every day. Its incidence is around 30% of the population with 50% experiencing more than one episode a year (Lewis, 2009)
It’s your posture right?
At ESP we see a lot of different postures. They can cause a few problems. Despite, studies from the last couple of years showing that there is no clear link between your rounded shoulders or slouched sitting position and shoulder pain (Ratcliffe et al, 2015), at ESP we aim to improve posture’s and optimise athletic ability by trying to find neutral.
What do I do about it?
Shoulder Pain DOES improve with exercise! Physiotherapy will identify the right exercises for you! At ESP we make sure your program is individual and not just do 3 x 10 of everything. Pushing through the pain or doing as many reps as you can just wont fix this one!
A rotator cuff injury can involve tearing the tendon itself. For younger people tears can happen with or without traumatic injuries. Whereas in an older more degenerative shoulder the tendon can tear with less forceful injuries. These are accurately diagnosed with Ultrasound scans but most Physiotherapists will be able to diagnose them without any investigations. Cuff tears are found in many shoulders without painful symptoms! REALLY?
“Does my pain level correlate with the amount of tear?” No it doesn’t.
“So my shoulder really hurts, but that doesn’t mean I have a huge tear?” Yes that’s right!
How do we treat it?
Evidence suggests in the majority of cases only full thickness tears (>75% of tendon fibres) benefit from surgery. Physiotherapy-based rehabilitation of partial thickness tears is as good as surgery (Kukkonen et al, 2014). “So a progressive strengthening program alongside other treatments will help?” Yes!
Book Online at www.espphysio.com or phone to book a session and let us sort you shoulder pain out!
Tom Unwin | Physiotherapist