Suffering from a shoulder problem? Why is it being so persistent? No one has given you a firm diagnosis?
The shoulder is an intricate joint and relies on muscles for its stability as opposed to the anatomical shape of the joint, primarily due to its shallow socket. What connects the shoulder with the upper body is solely ONE bone, that being the collar bone (clavicle)! Bearing this in mind, you can imagine that should the shoulder or clavicle suffer any damage, this can quickly lead to problems. The body’s most reliable way of informing you of a problem is through pain or discomfort… and so the cycle begins!
The most common injury to the shoulder is a ‘rotator cuff dysfunction’. The rotator cuff consists of 4 muscles that wrap around the ball and socket joint acting as stabilisers. Depending on your day to day activities; a forceful throw, lifting weights in a certain manner, pulling an object or a fall to the shoulder can cause damage to this muscle group.
Frustratingly shoulders do take a bit longer to heal than the average joint due to the soft tissues such as muscles, ligaments and the capsule which all merge together creating a knock-on effect as part of the healing process.
As your body is attempting recovery, it is normal for other areas around the shoulder as well as the upper neck and back to compensate. An injured shoulder becomes a heavy shoulder, so you can imagine it has a tendency to drag the neck and back with it.
In order to aid recovery, it is vital to address not only the shoulder joint and the rotator cuff muscles but equally the surrounding areas.
Do get your shoulder symptoms seen and don’t leave it too late, as the support system becomes vulnerable as it is only attached to the collar bone!
We hope this blog goes some way to explain why the whole-body mechanics become altered, the need for early intervention and osteopathic treatment.
Written by Gurkartar Raja, Osteopath, Senior Associate.