Shoulder Pain occurs in up to 30% of the general population at any point in time, and up to 44% of athletes that predominantly use their upper limbs, particularly in competitive sports.
54% of people with shoulder pain report ongoing symptoms after 3 years.
Shoulder disorders are only third to back and neck complaints for presentations to a GP in Australia.
Shoulders are tough though!! The shoulder complex is the most mobile region in the body and can move faster than any other region in the body-! Research indicates the tissue around the shoulder become pathological from not moving or doing enough, rather than overuse.
The shoulder complex is made up of the
- Glenohumeral joint (Ball-and-socket joint)
- Acromioclavicular Joint
- Shoulder girdle (scapula and thoracic spine)
Classification of types of shoulder pain is important to help guide efficient and effective management. Typical shoulder syndromes include:
- Stiff Shoulder – Frozen Shoulder, osteoarthritis, locked dislocation, AC Joint
- Posture – Hypermobility, Instability of glenohumeral joint
- Soft Tissue – rotator cuff tendinopathy/tears, biceps tendinopathy, labrum tears, SLAP tear, sub-acromial or sub-deltoid bursitis
- Referred Pain – Cervical Spine, Thoracic Spine, visceral organs
Risk factors include age – older than 35 years is a big predictor of getting a rotator cuff tear, working with arms in a highly elevated position, repetitive movements, high-force demands, posture and psychosocial factors such as depression and anxiety.