“It’s my shoulder”
Generally, pain felt in the shoulder region is an indicator that:
- a structure or tissue within or near the shoulder is injured or irritated
- a structure or tissue within the cervical or thoracic spine is injured or irritated and is “referring” pain to the shoulder
It’s also feasible that pain felt in the shoulder is a manifestation of abnormally high sensitivity of nerve endings within the shoulder, neck or upper back regions. In this kind of scenario, it may be that your nerve endings and nerve pathways have remained in a heightened state of sensitivity as a result of a previous injury. You can read all about this process of sensitisation in our Learning about Pain series.
The questions you’re faced with when you have shoulder pain are- what is causing it? Have I injured something? Can I keep working or playing sport? Should I be resting it? Should I get it checked out? The best way to get an answer to all these questions is to call us – 02 9665 9667. We can discuss your shoulder symptoms on the phone and help you decide what to do next.
You can also browse through some of the more common shoulder conditions
The rotator cuff is a term used to describe a group of 4 muscles that help your arm bone to stay attached to your shoulder blade bone. Those muscles known as;
- teres minor
Any of the four muscles may be acutely injured or subjected to wear and tear changes over a number of years. When we examine a shoulder with an MRI or ultrasound scan, one of these 4 muscles in particular, the supraspinatus most commonly reveals signs of injury or wear and tear. When you hear about someone having “rotator cuff surgery”, very often they are having the supraspinatus tendon repaired. The other common surgical repair is to the subscapularis tendon. Although not technically part of the “rotator cuff”, the long head of the biceps tendon is another commonly injured structure within the shoulder.
Injuries to the rotator cuff or biceps tendon fall into two broad categories- those associated with trauma or obvious inciting event, or those which have an insidious onset of symptoms and can’t easily be traced back to a specific precipitating event.