It’s really really common for people to consult an Osteopath, looking for a way to change or prevent shoulder pain.
It’s very very easy for many practitioners to just look at your shoulder, and tell you that you’ve got a “rotator cuff problem” or a “bursitis”.
Of course it CAN be one of the above (and often is), however…
Two of the most common causes of shoulder pain are overlooked, and these are:
- Referred pain from your neck and
- An issue with where your ribs meet your back (near the shoulder blade).
Of all the “shoulder” pain I see, I’d say at least 50% of the time it’s due to the rib joints being really stiff, or the muscles around the rib joints spasming a bit.
It’s a bit strange, because the actual range of motion you lose isn’t a great deal, but the PAIN is quite intense.
The thing is, The pain felt in the shoulder blade region can just as easily be felt if the issue is nothing to do with the ribs, and is more neck related.
How can you tell? Luckily, it’s pretty simple!
If your shoulder pain is made worse by looking up, and or over the same side shoulder, then it could very well be your NECK that has the problem.
Often this pain is reduced or stopped by placing your hand up behind your neck. If that’s the case, you really need to get it checked out, and NOT manipulated.
If it hurts to breathe and the pain is under or near the shoulder blade, it’s almost always the rib joints.
Often there’s not an easy way to relieve this pain yourself, and (for the most part) will respond well to Osteopathic treatment.
Shoulder pain relief and treatment strategies really must take into account all of the possible reasons for that pain.
On occasion the issue is actually inside the joint, a spur, or something just outside the joint like an inflamed bursa, or actually a torn or overworked rotator cuff muscle.
But as we always say… if your practitioner is ONLY looking at the site of your pain, they’re LOST.
Consult us for a different opinion 🙂