Alistair and Johnny Brownlee will propel their body’s 1.5km through Round Hay Park Lake in the World Cup Triathlon event by performing over one thousand swimming strokes. Each stroke involves a full shoulder range of movement, strength and technique. There is no margin for error.
For most other people, we often take our shoulders for granted, that is until they initiate pain and/or restrict our ability to perform normal every day activities.
The shoulder joint is a very mobile structure and when functioning well it allows us to position our hands so that we can perform a variety of tasks. From common daily activities such as washing and dressing to the physical demands of work, through to the extreme requirements of high level sport. If however our shoulders fail to function correctly then our quality of life is affected.
The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, the ball is about the size of a golf ball and the socket is swallow and not much bigger than a two pence piece. Consequently, this design, whilst permitting a vast range of movement is very unstable. To keep the joint together we have a range of tendons called the rotor cuff and a complex arrangement of muscles to provide stability and power.
Just as with any joint, if these structures are damaged, worn or irritated then a mechanical and inflammatory pain response can be initiated.
Clinic 360 has mentioned before the importance of a tissue based diagnosis as opposed to a diagnosis based on a description of pain. With ultrasound scans it is possible to see beneath the skin and look directly at muscles, tendons, bursa and bony contours; and see these tissues actually moving.
Common problems include the enlargement of the bursa, tears within the rotor cuff and degenerative changes to the acromioclavicular joint.
Frozen shoulder is another pathology which results in gross stiffness and extreme pain.
Once an accurate diagnosis is made a variety of evidence based treatments can be provided. Excessive inflammation can be supressed with guided injection therapy, Frozen shoulders can be stretched via Hydro-dilation, which involves high volume fluid injections into the joint. Degenerative changes can be eased with steroid or Hyaluronic acid injections. And muscle problems can be addressed with specific rehabilitation.
Clinic 360 has worked with and helped many swimmers, plasterers, care workers, mechanics and racket sports players. Irrespective of age or sport or job the anatomy of the shoulder remains the same and the pathway to recovery starts with a real diagnosis, not guess work.
To find out what your tissue based problem is please book an appointment with Clinic 360. Initial consultation including ultrasound scan is £65. Injections, if required cost £75.