The shoulder is a complex, well-used joint and a common source of pain for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Whether your shoulder pain is caused from wear and tear, repetitive use or injury, Osteopathy is gentle and helpful treatment for many conditions of the shoulder.
Why should I see an osteopath for shoulder pain?
Osteopaths use a wide variety of gentle hands-on techniques to try to reduce your pain and prevent it from coming back. These aim to release tension and improve how your body moves. An osteopath can offer this type of treatment for short-term or long-term shoulder pain.
Your osteopath may also suggest some self-help measures you can take and give you advice on exercise to help your symptoms get better.
How can osteopathy help with shoulder pain?
The shoulder is a complex, well-used joint and a common source of pain for people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether your shoulder pain is caused from wear and tear, repetitive use or injury, Osteopathy is gentle and helpful treatment for many conditions of the shoulder.
Good shoulder function is essential for everyday movement and for many popular sporting activities such as tennis, golf, and ball sports. It’s not until we experience sudden or gradual onset of shoulder pain or injury do we realise how debilitating shoulder pain can be. The good news is osteopathy can effectively treat many forms of shoulder pain and injury to help relieve pain and discomfort.
What can cause shoulder pain?
Lifestyle factors such as repetitive use of your arm in certain positions such as painting or hairdressing
Rotator Cuff Injury
Wear and tear (osteoarthritis) of the shoulder joints
Upper rib or back restrictions
What happens when you see an osteopath for shoulder pain?
A first appointment with an osteopath will usually take around 40-50 minutes. Your osteopath will want to talk to you about your shoulder pain and your health in general, as well as any other treatment you’re having. They’ll probably ask you to remove some clothing so that they can examine you. If you wish, you can ask for a friend or relative to accompany you.
Your osteopath will look at your whole body in relation to your back shoulder – they may observe you making some simple movements and stretches. They’ll also feel around your joints, ligaments and tissues with their hands (this is called palpation).
Your osteopath will use manual techniques to try and reduce your back pain. Osteopathy techniques aim to increase the movement in your joints and relieve muscle tension.
The main techniques your osteopath may use include the following.
Massage. This is when your osteopath directly applies pressure to the soft tissues of your back. It aims to reduce tension in your back and relieve your pain.
Muscle energy technique. This is a technique in which your osteopath will ask you to push against them, while they apply force back. This aims to increase the range of motion in the affected joint.
Functional technique. In this technique, your osteopath will gently move your joints into positions that reduce your tension and pain, before gradually working them back to the original position.
Counterstrain. This involves your osteopath slowly moving you into the position that causes you least pain. They’ll hold you in this position for a short time while they monitor ‘tender points’ – areas on your body that are causing your pain.
Myofascial release therapy. This is a type of deep massage technique, in which your osteopath aims to release tension and tightness in your muscles.
What to expect after treatment
You may feel a little sore for the first few days after your treatment. If you have any concerns, contact your osteopath for advice. You may need more than one treatment. Your osteopath will assess you at each session and discuss and agree with you any changes needed to your treatment plan.
Manual therapies such as those offered by an osteopath are usually only one part of your treatment for shoulder pain. It’s important that you also follow any advice your osteopath or other healthcare professional gives you on looking after your back and doing exercises. This will give you the best chance of a quick recovery, and will help to stop your back pain returning.
Call us today to find out more about shoulder pain or to book an appointment at our well established, friendly Osteopathy clinic located in Old Harlow. We are well located and are happy to see patients from any area including Sawbridgeworth, Bishop's Stortford, Epping, Roydon, Nazeing, Broxbourne, North Weald, Loughton, Ongar, Stanstead and beyond.