Shoulder pain is a common physical occurrence. Your shoulder is a complex, highly mobile structure made up of several components. When considering the shoulder you need to think about the collarbone connecting to your chest, the collarbone connecting to the shoulderblade or scapula, and finally the arm bone joining to the scapula. Strong tendons, ligaments and muscles support your shoulder and make it stable. In younger people, pain is more likely to be due to an accident or injury. However as you age natural changes occur to your shoulder joint and the rotator cuff tendon, similar to seeing wrinkles and grey hairs in the mirror. We also see pain more strongly associated with how one is using – or perhaps not using – their shoulder. Here are five easy tips to help manage shoulder pain and keep your joint strong.
#1 Shoulder pain diagnosisThere are many causes of shoulder pain and not all of them are due to problems of the shoulder joints or associated structures. Accurate diagnosis is important. “Common pathology is frozen shoulder, impingent, tendinopathy and referral from the scapular or neck,” physiotherapist and Healthfix founder Sean Cooney. “To treat your pain effectively, it’s crucial to know what to treat.”
#2 Using full rangeWhen experiencing shoulder pain, the protective muscles around the joint try to keep your arm by your side in an effort to restrict movement. Activating the muscles that move the shoulder through its full range (these are called the antagonist muscles) can significantly reduce your recovery time.
#3 Comfortable and progressive loadingEveryone’s progress is different. Make sure you don’t push yourself or your shoulder beyond what feels comfortable. That said, strength is built with progressive loading – that is, a little more weight and/or repetitions as is safe for your particular issue. “Monitor your pain one to two hours after exercise or the next morning to know if you’re loading correctly,” advises Sean.
#4 Don’t go too farPain management is the first step to regaining strength in any part of the body. Sean recommends to first get comfortable with using your arms below shoulder height, gradually moving up to shoulder height before – no points for guessing – graduating to using your arms above your head. “This is a safe way to ensure you’re not going too far when regaining your full range of motion,” says Sean.
#5 Stretch. And stretch again.“Stretching can serve as a great tester and reliever of pain, not to mention the best way to improve flexibility in the shoulder. A daily doorway stretch can help mitigate shoulder pain or find out if you’re lacking some essential range of motion. To do this, find yourself a clear doorway, stretch the arm overhead to grasp the door frame, then lean forward to create resistance. If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, our team of physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can help. Book an appointment online today.
Introducing Samah F Elomari
We are really excited to announce with the expansion of Healthfix we are welcoming a new Physiotherapist into our team Samah F Elomari. Samah is a qualified Exercise Scientist (Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science) and Physiotherapist (Master of Physiotherapy) who is passionate about how the body works and heals through movement. In 2017 while listening to a university lecture about female pelvic pain, Samah discovered her love of women’s health. She was fortunate enough to land a placement at Fairfield Hospital where she worked on the maternity wards, seeing women with varying degrees of perineal tearing, abdominal separation and those with a high risk of pelvic floor dysfunction postpartum. She was also involved in the assessment and treatment of outpatients with prolapse, urinary and bowel disorders. Since then she’s worked in private practice, treating people with various musculoskeletal dysfunctions, including those related to pregnancy and the postnatal period. Samah also has experience leading pregnancy, postnatal and clinical Pilates classes. She’s more recently had the opportunity to treat more complex pain conditions including sexual pain and endometriosis.Samah strives to create space for her patients to feel heard and empowered.
Book in to see Samah today.
Introducing Joel Bates
An industry vet, Joel has been practicing physiotherapy since 2006 in Sydney and most recently Singapore. Over the years he has built extensive knowledge in treating acute and chronic injuries, helping people navigate often challenging times with honest, constructive and successful treatment solutions. He has had the pleasure of treating and learning from some amazing people along the way, from weekend athletes, ultra marathon runners, professional golfers, global CEO’s to high level lifters. Joel takes pride in delivering the highest quality physiotherapy care to each and every patient. Joel knows that pain and injury can be both complex and confronting, therefore cutting through the technical medical jargon and helping people understand their injury with effective and applicable information is critical. Joel applies his commitment to professional and personal development, allowing him to constantly evolve as a physiotherapist and as a person. This enables him to understand the person as well as the injury, ultimately leading to a fast and effective fix.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in physiotherapy?
Joel Bates chose physiotherapy as it combined what he loved at school – human movement and helping people to be active and solve problems. He spent way to much time at physiotherapists as a teenager with stress fractures from cricket and shoulder problems from swimming, so he got to know what it was all about and love it. He has a deep passion for helping people and solving problems. No two injuries are ever the same so there is always a rewarding challenge each day and meeting great people along the way makes it good fun.
So what does Joel like to get up to outside of the clinic?
Joel is an avid sports fan and has mastered the art of watching an entire game of footy while chasing his young family around the house, backyard & beer garden. He has run a couple of half marathons whilst living in Singapore (which he tells himself are like full marathons in normal climates!). He makes sure he practices what he preaches with a mix of running, weights & golf keeping fitness fun for him. Book in to see Joel Bates today!