Shoulder Pain. What can go wrong?


Why can’t I slide and glide? Most likely it is one of these two things that is causing your shoulder pain.

As complicated as the shoulder can be, you can keep it simple by breaking it down into two straightforward things. Either the problem is the part that moves the shoulder (contractile structures) or the tissues that hold the ‘golf ball’ to the ‘tee’ (the capsule).

Capsule Structures
The capsule is a watertight sac that covers the joint. The capsule holds fluids that lubricate the joint. The walls of the joint capsule are made up of ligaments. Ligaments are soft connective tissues that attach bones to bones. The fluid acts as a cushion for the bones as space is limited. Frozen shoulder, dislocations or arthritis are common problems in this area. When these conditions present themselves you may notice an ache or stiffness when completing actions like brushing your hair or getting dressed/undressed.

Contractile Structures
In the shoulder, space is a premium.  When there is a weakness present, some of the moving parts end up knocking against each other and can squash the soft tissue (i.e. ligaments or tendons). This is known as impingement. Impingement can happen by bony parts of the shoulder blade or an unstable ‘golf ball’. Tendons are long and stringy fibres that attach the muscles to the bone – they are pretty important for getting you moving.  Repetitive ‘squashing’ of the tendon can lead to a build-up of damage. This will ultimately lead to tendonitis which is an inflammation of the tissue. This is not good! When this happens you may notice a sharp stabbing pain during movement, especially when lifting your arm above your head i.e. taking a jumper off or taking something out of the top cupboard.

So what can I do?
It would be highly recommended to get this problem diagnosed accurately and get yourself onto an appropriate treatment plan. In my opinion, it most likely will not heal itself.

Thank you for reading our four part blog series detailing shoulder pain.
1. Shoulder Pain? Here’s (probably) why

2. Shoulder pain. What can go wrong

3. Shoulder pain. The first steps to combat pain

4. Shoulder pain. Getting back on track

For more information or to make an appointment, please click here or call PhysioCare on 015310007