The shoulder is the most flexible joint in the body and therefore injury to the rotator cuff is the most common shoulder injury we see in the clinic. The band of tendons attached to four muscles holding the shoulder joint in place are called the rotator cuff muscles.
Your precious rotator cuff can suffer other problems too. Bony spurs, small outgrowths from part of your shoulder blade called the acromion, can irritate and trap the tendons in the joint space. This syndrome is known as shoulder impingement syndrome and again pain and immobility result. A person with a complete tendon tear needs urgent surgery. However, in partial tears, or where the joint tissues are deteriorating is where we come in!
Between your acromion and your rotator cuff lies a sac of fluid (bursa) and its function is to lubricate the joint. Unfortunately, painful bursitis can result if the sac becomes inflamed, due to impingement or other causes. Bursitis around the shoulder can be caused by a repeated minor trauma such as overuse of the shoulder joint and muscles or a single more significant trauma such as a fall.
Skilled Physical Therapy can make a big difference. In fact, a study done in 2007 found that 90% of a large group of patients with frozen shoulder made a good recovery without surgery, treated only with painkillers and Physical Therapy. So, if you know someone like this, let them know there’s help at hand – here in County Meath at the Pain Remedial Clinic!