Skip to content

Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is the second most common musculo-skeletal problem after back pain.  

The shoulder “complex” is a mechanically complicated area comprising the shoulder joint itself (the ball and socket), the AC joint (the connection between the shoulder blade and the collar bone situated above the shoulder joint) and the scapular joint (which comprises the shoulder blade moving on the back of the rib cage). The Rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles responsible for producing movement of the shoulder and also more importantly control and stability.

Problems with the shoulder can be divided into 3 main groups by age of person:

1.    Young: 
These problems tend to be related to instability. They are often resolved entirely through a course of rehabilitation, but may very occasionally need referral to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon.

2.    Middle age:

a)    Sub acromial pain syndrome (SAPS)
Sometimes associated with wear and tear in the AC joint. This is often referred to as 'shoulder impingement'.  In these cases, the muscles, particularly those of the ‘rotator cuff’ are usually not working properly.
This type of shoulder injury will often respond very well to a course of Physiotherapy which includes a rehabilitation programme
b)    Frozen shoulder
This is initially a painful condition, followed by a stiffening of the shoulder.
An assessment by an experienced Physiotherapist can determine if it is a true frozen shoulder. They can then advise on the best course of action. These cases will often do better if they receive a course of Physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation after an injection of hydro-cortisone.

3.    Older age:
Shoulder problems in this age group tend to be due to degenerative changes in the shoulder joint, AC joint and / or the rotator cuff itself. These shoulders will often improve significantly with course of Physiotherapy treatment and rehabilitation programme.


If shoulder pain is related to a fall or other trauma, the physiotherapist can determine what damage, if any has been done and advise on the best course of treatment. This may be a course of physiotherapy which includes a rehabilitation programme,or referral to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon may be needed.

How can we help you?

Our specialist physiotherapists will thoroughly examine you and provide a diagnosis. They will then provide you with a personal treatment plan, which will be constantly reviewed to ensure you are receiving the optimal treatment and rehabilitation programme. You will be able to benefit from attending our specialist physio led shoulder rehab classes. Your progress will be monitored to ensure you achieve full return to your normal life and sporting activities.

What types of treatment are available?

Below are some of the treatment modalities that we use at our clinic to treat shoulder problems. These are frequently combined in various ways, depending on the requirements of each individual case.
  • Mobilisation of the spinal joints. In some cases, careful manipulation of these joints may be appropriate.
  • Muscle energy release technique.
  • Postural and ergonomic advice.
  • Shoulder Rehabilitation strengthening of ‘core’ muscles and specific muscles of the shoulder girdle.
  • Acupuncture or Ultra-sound for pain relief.
  • Specific soft tissue massage.
  • Myofascial soft tissue release.
  • Kinesio taping.
  • Physio led pilates.
  • Massage.

Shoulder rehab classes

Held in our purpose built Health & Rehab Gym, based at our Lamerton clinic, we offer specific shoulder rehabilitation classes. These classes are led by one of our specialist physiotherapists and our fully qualified personal trainer. They are designed to help you achieve your optimal rehabilitation and can be tailored to meet the demands of your specific work or sport.

After following your rehabilitation programme, it is not uncommon for you to feel stronger, and more comfortable in your shoulder than you did before your injury!

Click here to find out more about our rehab classes