Do you have rotator cuff pain that just keeps coming back?
Have you tried heaps of things but still struggle to find anything that really helped long term? Then this is an important article for you so you can finally get better for good.
85% of shoulder pain presentations are associated with the rotator cuff however I see all to often that people are then being ineffectively managed and never managing to get out of pain long term. You NEED to know what are the key steps to effectively get rid of rotator cuff pain for good.
If you want to know exactly what the 5 steps for successfully getting rid of shoulder pain are then read on as this might be the difference between you finally living the life you want without shoulder pain or not.
Make sure you see a good physio before you have injections.
For many people the first step after developing shoulder pain is to see your doctor who will commonly refer you for a scan and then a subsequent cortisone injection. However this sequence of treatment is not supported by the research so you often end up wasting your money on a very expensive bandaid.
It’s kind of like if you have a rock in your shoe so you get a scan done that says you’ve got a rock in the shoe and then you inject the sore bit of your foot that’s been standing on the rock in the shoe and never bother address the real issue – the rock in the shoe.
While injections can provide great relief they won’t last or work if you don’t address all the other contributing things first. And I know that many have tried physio and haven’t gotten much relief which is why I said “good physio” and why there are these other steps here to help you know what good and bad physio is.
Get your upper back moving and your posture on pointe
Not many people (or physios) really understand how much your posture effects your shoulder pain. If you have a hunched upper back your shoulders will have to do more work and they will get squished more with over head movements. So anyone who has a bursa issue in their shoulder – that is likely related to your upper back flexibility and posture.
I see it all the time with patients who have had treatment for their shoulder pain but haven’t had any work done on their upper back or posture. These are always they patients that have struggled to make any real progress with their rehab and have resorted to doing less and less and less activities that irritate their shoulders.
Start with isometrics and not a stretchy band turning your arm out to the side.
If you have seen any of our videos on social media you will know that I hate the classic shoulder exercise of using red stretchy band, elbow bent at side and turning your arm out to the side. It’s usually way too hard for most people at the start and it causes more pain for heaps of people. Depending on how de-conditioned you are, we love starting with isometrics – tensing the muscles without moving. These help with pain relief plus are a nice safe way to start strengthening.
Get strong above your head
Most physio rehab programs never get to the stage of really getting stronger above your head – which is often the main complaint of people with shoulder pain. So those people with pain hanging up washing, working over head, packing shelves or even reaching for their favourite coffee cup never get there. To effectively get stronger up above your head though you need to have first addressed and mastered the previous steps otherwise you will just flare up again.
Be strong enough to get off the floor
This is important for everyone. Whether you be a young fit person doing push ups, a mechanic who needs to get off the ground after working under a car, being able to push yourself up out of bed or in the worse case scenario being able to get off the floor if you fall over. If I think above head strengthening is rarely addressed by the common physio then this definitely is a forgotten aspect of rehab.
If any of this has resonated with you and you are worried you’ve missed these steps with your recovery, don’t worry as we are here to help. It is our passion at Elite Physiotherapy to help as many people as possible live the lives they want without the disability and burden of pain.
Here’s what you can do nextGive us a call on (07) 4999 9773 so we can team you up with a physio who wants you to succeed or click here to book online. Make sure you mention this blog to receive your first consultation gap free (or 50% off for no private health fund)