Rotator Cuff Injury
The Rotator Cuff is a vital grouping of four muscles around the shoulder that not only help to move the shoulder individually but act in unison to stabilise it during other movements. Rotator Cuff muscles can be injured in a variety of ways however commonly involve the arm in an awkward position like above the head. Rotator Cuff injuries involve the same treatments as other general muscle or tendon injuries however, if left untreated can cause Impingement Sydnrome.
The shoulder is the most common joint in the body for impingement. The top of the arm bone (head of the humerus) experiences upward forces whenever the arm is moved upwards. If the rotator cuff is not functioning effectively, the biomechanics of the shoulder are altered or there is a narrowing of the space on top of the arm and below the collar bone ( the subacromial space ) then impingement will occur.
Impingement around the subacromial space usually causes inflammation of the bursa and or tendons which run through this space. To help speed up recovery we are able to refer you for an ultrasound guided corticosteroid injection which can help to settle down the area before commencing rehabilitation.
Impingement is a common problem especially in people over 40 years old who have poor posture around the shoulder joint, so why not book an appointment for an assessment and help yourself by allowing us to advise you on avoiding this potentially difficult problem!
AC Joint Injury
The AC joint (acromioclavicular joint) is the point at which the collar bone and the scapula near the tip of the shoulder. It is most commonly injured in contact sports such as hockey and football by heavy contact to the top or front of the shoulder. There can be several problems in an AC joint injury however the most common is a sprain to one of the ligaments involved in the joint. This type of injury will involve immediate pain and often an inability to raise the shoulder above chest height.
Management involves immediately employing the RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) approach followed by assessment of the injury by your trained physiotherapist and a personalized rehabilitation program.
The shoulder is one of the most dynamic joints in the body as it is able to move in so many directions. This allows us to complete lots of difficult tasks with our arms, however, it also means the joint is at risk of dislocation.
Unlike other joints in the body that are held in place by bony restraints the shoulder is contained almost exclusively by muscles and ligaments. A dislocated shoulder will usually occur from a heavy trauma accident such as during contact sport or falling from a horse or bicycle, but can also occur from more inconspicuous incidents if some looseness is already present in the shoulder. A dislocation here is not a difficult injury to diagnose, it will be extremely painful and visibly deformed.
Any dislocation should be assessed by a medical practitioner as it has the potential to interrupt nerves and blood vessels that supply the arm. Once it is established that the dislocation has not caused other serious complications rehabilitation can commence. In partnership with your physiotherapist you will be working through a number of strength and stability exercises as well as possibly using taping and or other restraints for added support.