Podcast 005: Manage Your Shoulder Pain With Bruce Paulik
In this episode, Bruce Paulik, Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist at HFRC, explains:
- The common causes of shoulder pain
- The different treatment methods available
- That surgery doesn’t have to be the answer
- What you can do right now to improve the sensations in your shoulder(s)
When we look at shoulder pain, the most common things we see as physiotherapists, is shoulder pain from impingement. This is where the bursa and tendons get caught in the shoulder and become inflamed. Those same tendons may also have tendinopathy or partial or full thickness tears. We also see arthritis in some older patients. And for all patients with shoulder pain, we see instability either from the way a person’s shoulder has been formed from birth or from the impact of injury or impact.
Shoulder pain can be felt over the top of the should but can also be felt into the arm, forearm and neck as the pain radiates to other parts of the body.
The good news is that surgery is not the only option. Surgery should be considered as a last-resort to rehabilitate the shoulder and reduce shoulder pain. As an alternative to surgery, patients should be prescribed specific exercises that are progressive to help the shoulder recover and improve.
When we first see patients in clinic, the first step is to stop them from hurting themselves further by discontinuing or reducing overhead lifting or other aggravating activities so the shoulder can be allowed to settle. Best to avoid overhead activities such as hanging the washing out, playing tennis or swimming freestyle. Don’t work through the pain, it will make your shoulder worse. Then move into light, tailored exercises that have been developed for you by a physiotherapist (not found on the internet) to start a gentle process of strengthening.
Here’s an exercise that people can do right now to alleviate shoulder pain. Sit and hold your hands together in your lap, bring your spine up straight and gently bring the shoulders back like they are trying to touch without hitching them up. Hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times if you are not experiencing any pain.
You don’t need a referral to see Bruce (unless you are under WorkCover or a motor vehicle insurance claim). You can book an appointment online or phone 9386 9961 and speak with Bruce about your condition.