Sore Shoulder?

Sore shoulder? Have you tried Physiotherapy?

A sore shoulder can occur for various reasons. It can be at the front, top or back of your shoulder and can even radiate down into the back of your shoulder blade or down your arm.

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If you have had or currently suffer from shoulder pain it can be pretty debilitating.

Usual tasks like getting yourself dressed, drying your hair or doing housework/hobbies can become problematic and painful.

How can physiotherapy help?

Physiotherapy can be effective in supporting your return to full fitness. When we assess your shoulder we are looking to see firstly how it moves. And we look to see if your muscles can activate and work efficiently. Also we assess if your shoulder will support your body weight/load.

Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint. It relies heavily on your surrounding ligaments and muscles to support it. We are usually all familiar with “the rotator cuff” and strengthening this through exercise. But there is more to your shoulder than just the usual theraband strengthening exercises.

The activation of the cuff is a prime factor. We want preparation of the cuff so it can support what action we wish from it.

What kind of exercises can I do to help?

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Commonly you can overload the upper trapezius (neck) and the long head of biceps ( your arm) if the cuff does not have an optimum “switch on”.

There are some simple exercises you can follow which may lead us in the right direction.

The credit for these are from the wonderful Jo Gibson who is a shoulder specialist down in Liverpool and a whizz when it comes to treating the complex shoulder.

Please note an excellent resource for all things shoulder pain would be shoulder doc ( A full list of conditions, investigations and treatment options are listed so head over more information.

Case study: Cricket Player – presenting with ongoing chronic shoulder pain

Video One – showing the shoulder movement before the exercise

Video Two – showing the shoulder movement post shoulder elevation exercise

Let's explain this exercise a little more. . .

The theraband is placed around the wrists with pressure applied against the band (known as external rotation). We keep the lever length short by bending at the elbows and we keep the elbows in close (by the ribcage). We then raise the arms out in front (around 150-160 degrees) whilst we step through with the lower leg (this involves using the kinetic chain to our advantage aka full body movement). This allows for the posterior cuff to activate “switch on” and therefore improve this movement pattern as well as ease pain for the individual. The shoulder can fatigue so you would build these exercises up in reps and sets as required but as a basis try 10 step-through per leg.

If your shoulder pain continues to persist or you feel it needs the careful eye of a Physiotherapist to support your rehabilitation then please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial assessment Book Online - Physioflexx Ayrshire or attend our next workshop in clinic on how to strengthen your shoulder on Saturday 23rd October with Principal Physiotherapist Kate Alexander.

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