How shoulders can let you down

How shoulders can let you down

and what to do about it

If you stop and think, the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. You arms move up and down, left and right, front and back. So no wonder so many people experience problems with their shoulders. Well, let’s take a look closer look at shoulders, what can go wrong and what to do about it.

The Mobility Joint
The key feature of the shoulder is its mobility. The joint where the clavicle, scapula and humerus meet has the widest range of motion of any joint in the body. Like any joint, the bones that make it up are surrounded by ligaments, tendons and muscles. Together these are called the rotator cuff. But the very mobility of the shoulder also makes it potentially one of the most unstable joints of the body. And therefore one of the most at risk of damage.

What Can Go Wrong
There are in essence four main types of problems relating to shoulders

Whether it is Bursitis or Tendonitis, these conditions are generally caused by overuse (ball throwing for instance) or repetitive wearing (movement over time). They can be either acute or chronic and can make simple things like brushing your hair really painful.

Can happen as a result of overuse, or sudden injury. The head of the humerus is forced out of the shoulder socket and can cause damage to the muscles and tendons around the joint, leading to further instability. Sometimes, the damage to the surrounding muscles and tendons can lead to arthritis.

The most common arthritis is osteoarthritis – also known as ‘wear and tear’ arthritis. Generally setting in during middle-age, symptoms include swelling, pain and reduced range of motion.

In young patients, generally caused by an impact sport or accident, and in older patients often caused by a fall.

So, apart from the fracture, we can see a pattern here. Many of the problems related to the shoulder center around use – repetitive, wear and tear, overuse. Any way you cut it, the shoulder is at risk from everyday life.

If you are suffering from shoulder pain there are a few key things you can do. Firstly, visit your health professional. Talking to a Chiropractor about what may be causing your pain is an important first step in establishing how to move forward. Also:

  • Rest – avoiding movements that cause pain – like lifting your arms over your head
  • Ice – if you suffer an injury icepacks can help in the first couple of days. 15-20 minutes three times a day is usually sufficient. A bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel is the idea icepack
  • Anti-Inflammatories – as always with any mediation, seek professional advice, but there are a number of over the counter and natural remedies, such as turmeric, that can help reduce inflammation.

An ounce of Prevention
Once your shoulder is feeling back to normal there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the risk of recurrence.

  • Exercises – gentle exercises prescribed by your health professional will help strengthen the muscles and tendons
  • Treatment – regular Chiropractic treatment can ensure the that your shoulder maintains it’s strength and stability
  • Care – take care to learn how to use your shoulder correctly. Whether it is throwing a ball or repetitive use, there is a right way and a wrong way. Your Chiropractor can help teach you the right way to avoid problems in the future.

If your shoulder is letting you down, call Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic on 9639 7337 for some advice or an appointment.

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