Shoulder pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal problems and the incidence increases with age. It can have a significant impact on quality of life, affecting activities of daily living, ability to work, sports performance and other leisure activities.
The shoulder is a complex system with a wide range of movement comprising four joints with 26 muscles acting on them. The shoulder can be affected by problems in other parts of the body, so a foot problem may cause shoulder symptoms. The shoulder can also be affected by mineral and hormonal deficiencies.
The most common shoulder problems are:
- Subacromial pain syndrome
- Rotator cuff tendindopathy
- Frozen shoulder syndrome (adhesive capsulitis)
I don’t want to get too technical here, but if you do, click here to find out more about these conditions.
If you suffer from shoulder pain, it is advisable to see your GP for an accurate diagnosis and for advice on how best to treat it. Treatments options include ice packs, anti-inflammatory drugs, pain killers, physiotherapy, corticosteroid injections and surgery.
Shoulder problems can be caused by:
- Poor posture
- Repetitive strain (especially in swimmers and painters and decorators)
Pilates is a good preventive for shoulder problems because it works on improving posture, involves a variety of exercises to keep the shoulder strong and stable, and is relaxing.
You may also find massage helpful in preventing and treating shoulder pain because as well as being generally relaxing, it has the following effects on the musculoskeletal system:
- Stimulates lymphatic drainage, which aids the removal of lactic acid and other toxins from muscle tissue and so eases fatigue and reduces stiffness
- Improves circulation and so optimises muscle function
- Relaxes muscles and so improves the flexibility and range of movement of joints
- Eases painful muscular nodules
- Enables improved posture by releasing areas of tension.
If you would like to try massage to prevent or manage shoulder pain, do get in touch.