Shoulder conditions such as “frozen shoulder”, dislocation and rotator cuff injuries are more common in women than men.

Shoulder pain can be very sharp right in the joint or into your upper arm. It can also be aching and constant. Your shoulder may also be very stiff but have no pain at all. The pain could be originating in one of the three joints around your shoulder, the rotator cuff or other soft tissues within the shoulder girdle or it could be referred from your neck or even from your stomach or gall bladder.

One of the more common reasons for shoulder pain originates somewhere in your rotator cuff. Your rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that provide the most support or stability for your shoulder joint. The tendons of these muscles can become irritated, impinged, torn or weak resulting in the symptoms above. Because your shoulder does a lot of work, pain and restriction can easily lead you to compensate potentially resulting in accompanying upper back, rib, arm and/or neck pain. Because of the diverse reasons for shoulder pain diagnosis is important before any treatment is considered.

Osteopaths conduct both orthopaedic and osteopathic assessments to come to a diagnosis. They may also refer you for imaging to determine pathology. Osteopathic treatment aims to decrease any inflammation in the area, releasing muscles, tendons and joints to improve movement and function of your shoulder. Often strengthening exercises are recommended for shoulder injuries.

Your traditional Chinese medicine practitioner will also conduct an assessment to determine the cause of your shoulder condition. Treatment may then include gentle needling of appropriate acupuncture points and Chinese herbal medicine prescription to improve shoulder function.