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Shoulder and Arm Pain

Shoulder pain

Pain in and around the shoulder can originate from different structures within the shoulder and can sometimes come from the neck.  With certain conditions, pain can also be felt below the shoulder and into the arm as far down as the hand.  This is because some structures can refer pain away from the source of the problem.  Because of this, an accurate assessment and diagnosis of the possible structure causing the problem is vital.

Common Conditions Affecting the Shoulder

  • Frozen Shoulder

This is a common condition, the cause of which is not yet fully understood.  The soft-tissue capsule surrounding the shoulder joint begins to shrink, tighten and become inflamed causing pain and restricted movement.  Without any treatment the condition will resolve but can take anywhere between 18 months and 3 years to resolve completely.  The process cannot be prevented from occurring as the cause is unknown but research demonstrates that physiotherapy and exercises achieve the best outcome.


  • Shoulder Impingement

This is also a common condition causing a number of structures, in particualr the rotator cuff muscles, to become irritated and compressed within the shoulder joint space.  There are numerous causes of this but commonly the way the muscles work around the shoulder is a factor and again research has shown often physiotherapy input and exercises will help the position of the shoulder and prevent symptoms.

Common Injuries to the Shoulder

  • Fractures from falls or sports:

These are common and require an X-ray to confirm a diagnosis.  If no surgery is required then rehabilitation with physiotherapy is recommended.

  • Rotator cuff tears:

These are tears of the smaller muscles which support the shoulder and give rise to pain and weakness.  Often these tears heal well and with physiotherapy, full function and strength can be restored.  Larger tears, however, may require surgical repair.  Physiotherapy is required following  the surgery to regain strength and full function.

  • Labral tears:

These often result from sporting injuries and involve tearing of the cartilage within the shoulder joint.  Depending on the degree of tear, these injuries may regain full function but in some cases they require surgical repair.  Physiotherapy is required following injury and / or surgery to regain full function and strength.

Other conditions not caused by injury include arthritis of the shoulder joints or more rarely neurological conditions, which affect the nerve supply to the joint.

Treatment of Shoulder and Arm Pain

Shoulder pain treatmentAs there are numerous conditions causing shoulder and arm pain, there are also numerous treatment methods.  It is therefore important to establish an accurate diagnosis as early as possible.  Our physiotherapists have a wealth of experience in treating shoulder problems and can be relied upon to provide a thorough and accurate assessment of the cause.  In discussion with you, they will then advise you on the best treatment available for the problem.

If you are experiencing pain or restricted function in your shoulder, book an appointment with one of our specialist physiotherapists by calling Trinity House Practice on 01625 500777 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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