Shoulder pain can be difficult to assess, diagnose and treat!
Intrinsi Osteopathic therapist Isaac Lynn shares his knowledge about the shoulder:
“The following 3 things make shoulder pain more complex than at first you would think:
- It’s anatomy (it’s made up of 3 joints! – their complicated anatomical names are: the acromioclavicular, glenohumeral and scapulothoracic joints)
- It’s mobility (because it’s so mobile it is inherently unstable – it’s a double edged sword – we need the mobility but in order to achieve that the shoulder is less stable than a joint that doesn’t move as much – and hence it’s really important to build up strength and good posture around the shoulder joint) and
- It’s proximity to numerous other pain causing structures (nerves, fascia, muscles and organs).
As Osteopaths, we enjoy treating ‘tricky’ shoulders as often, it isn’t simply an inflamed tissue or structure, but a breakdown in a chain of connections that leads to the presenting complaint.
Why do shoulders so often get injured?
Increased use of smart phones, computers, sedentary postures, anterior/flexion based sports and exercise activity, being a new parent, being your own home renovator – all expose you to an increased risk of shoulder pain.
In treating shoulder pain, I’ll often look at the surrounding areas to work through what’s dysfunctional and therefore contributing to the exacerbation of the shoulder strain.
Your ribs, your thoracic and cervical areas of your spine, even your elbow joints can all contribute to shoulder pain, and it is often a culmination of problems in these areas that give rise to conditions such as rotator cuff syndrome, bursitis, tendinopathy; as well as non specific conditions such as dull, achy shoulders.
Osteopathy is more than manual treatment! A large part of shoulder pain is often the continual aggravation caused through daily repetitive activities, and so I’ll often work to incorporate small changes to the shoulder’s ‘regular routine’ to decrease strain and effort on overworked structures. A 45 minute appointment will last you through the 168 hours of the rest of your week because not only can we release tension in problem causing areas but we can give you tools (yes, a little bit of homework) to maintain the change and improve habits of your posture.
It doesn’t stop there!
We don’t often think about our diet when we approach a health professional about musculoskeletal pain, but a diet rich in inflammatory foods (think wheat, dairy, processed etc) can often exacerbate a mild shoulder pain into a real monster! Decreasing aggravating foods not only helps the whole body system in dealing with stressors, but can aide with the many inflammatory conditions of the shoulder. Supplementing with natural anti-inflammatories such as curcumin, or minerals that decrease muscle tension such as magnesium are also great indirect ways to support shoulder recovery”
To book an appointment to help you and your shoulders call us at (403) 229 9214.