Shoulder Pain And Prolotherapy
Prolotherapy, or proliferation therapy, involves injecting an irritant into a tendon, muscle, or joint to promote the growth of new tissue.
Typically, either a sugar solution or a purified form of cod liver oil is injected every few weeks for several months. The idea is that by irritating the surrounding tissue, you can encourage the body to heal itself.
Researchers have tested prolotherapy on all kinds of muscle and joint pain, including . . .
. . . and the best we can really say is that it might help reduce pain for some problems, but most of the time it either doesnt work or the benefits are too small to matter.
The underlying mechanism for why prolotherapy might work has also never been proven, and studies show that theres no increase in cartilage growth after prolotherapy injections.
The bottom line is that prolotherapy probably doesnt reduce shoulder pain, and almost certainly isnt worth the cost, inconvenience, and discomfort of having to get repeated injections.
How Does A Rotator Cuff Become Weakened Or Injured
Usually, an injured rotator cuff is a result of you moving your shoulder in a forceful or repetitive movement. The injury itself is pretty common, especially when you get older. However, an injured rotator cuff can occur in anyone, no matter his or her age. It is more commonly seen in older individuals, though. In fact, studies show that 30% of individuals under the age of 70 and 70% of those over the age of 80 have experienced a rotator cuff tear.
Causes Of Shoulder Pain
- Since the shoulder is the most flexible joint, a number of factors and conditions can contribute to shoulder pain.
- The most prevalent cause is an injury to the soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments within the shoulder. This could be due to repetitive use or overuse injury.
- It can even be due to soreness of the tendon in the rotator cuff.
- Sometimes, the pain in your shoulder is actually emanating from injury to some other adjoining area, such as the neck or biceps. This is known as referred pain and does not aggravate with shoulder movement.
Some other causes of shoulder pain can include:
- Frozen shoulder due to stiffening of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles
- Spinal cord injury
- Dislocated shoulder
- Certain diseases can also cause shoulder pain, such as diseases of the cervical spine in the neck as well as liver, heart, and gallbladder diseases
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Exercises And Stretches To Relieve Shoulder Pain
If your shoulder pain is the result of a trauma, or if the pain has persisted beyond two to three weeks, you may want to seek medical attention. Certain causes of shoulder pain, such as rotator cuff injuries and frozen shoulder, get worse over time and may require surgical intervention if more conservative treatments are unsuccessful.
If you dont feel your pain warrants a visit to the doctor, you should consider enlisting a physical therapist to help. You dont need a referral to do this. After an initial evaluation and assessment of the pain, your physical therapist may use a goniometer to measure your range of motion and strength while monitoring the quality of the shoulder motion. Your physical therapist will then likely recommend stretches and exercises to help control inflammation and relieve pain.
Some of the most effective exercises and stretches to relieve shoulder pain at home are:
Pendulum. To do the pendulum exercise, start by leaning over and supporting your non-injured arm with a table or chair. Allow the sore arm to dangle straight down and then draw circles in the air. The circles should start out small but gradually grow, and you should also reverse direction periodically. Repeat this exercise 5 to 10 times throughout the day.
How To Heal Shoulder Impingement Fast
From my experience, the fastest way to heal a painful shoulder is by following the steps below:
The thing is, how do you know when to progress from one step to the next in the above healing scheme?
Typically, a painful shoulder comes with a limited range of motion. Lifting your arms overhead is hard and putting your hand on your back as well. Also, either because of the pain or because of weak muscles, youre not as strong in your injured shoulder as in the healthy one.
This brings us to the three main issues with shoulder impingement:
Which Exercises are Beneficial and Which are Not with Shoulder Impingement?
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Mistake #: Ignoring Poor Mobility And Weakness
When one part of the body is underdeveloped, another part has to overwork to compensate. Noam Tamir, fitness coach and founder of TS Fitness, explains that poor shoulder mobility can cause injuries when it requires other muscles to compensate. Short chest muscles can create this by pulling the shoulder joint forward, he says. A weak rotator cuff can also cause imbalances and lack of function in the shoulder capsule. Over time this can cause inflammation in the joint because it is not functioning properly, Tamir says.
Fix: Add stretching and recovery into your routine
Address range of motion and do some soft tissue work to create more blood flow to keep a shoulder joint healthy, advises Tamir. Massages help increase blood flow, as does foam rolling. Try getting a regular massage with a focus on the upper body, or lie down on a foam roller or tennis ball to massage your upper back. Kelly suggests stretching and lengthening the muscles with yoga or barre. Your body will respond by better performing for you, she says.
The following shoulder and wrist stretches can also help increase your mobility and lengthen muscles:
Tips For Sleeping With Shoulder Pain
There are ways you can get a restful nights sleep despite your shoulder pain. Here are our best tips:
- Replace your mattress every 6 to 8 years.
- Consider physical therapy for shoulder pain
- Implement other conservative treatments during the day:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen provide pain relief so you can sleep.
- Seek medical advice if the pain doesnt improve or worsens
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How To Fix Shoulder Pain From Weightlifting
If youre a weightlifter, dont ignore an aching shoulder. Follow our tips to prevent and treat these three common conditions.
Experiencing shoulder pain while weightlifting? This might be a sign you need to take a step back and re-examine your form. Here are some ways to prevent your slight twinge from turning into a serious injury.
Weightlifters shoulder, or distal clavicular osteolysis, affects the collarbone where it meets the shoulder blade at a point known as the acromion. This joint is very flexible, and therefore one of the least stable in the body. Stress over time can lead to micro fractures on the end of the collarbone.
If you have weightlifters shoulder, you may experience:
- Dull aching
- Tenderness or sharp pain when you press on the area
- Pain after exercising
- Pain when you extend the arm across to the opposite side
Weightlifters shoulder can be avoided with good training practices. It is usually caused by overdoing shoulder extension exercises like bench presses, dips, or push-ups. When you work out, be sure not to use too much weight and give your muscles time to recover in between training sessions. Have a trainer check your form, and be careful not to push through when youre experiencing pain. To build up your shoulder strength, try out the Blackburn exercise.
You may have a shoulder impingement if you experience:
ROTATOR CUFF TEAR
Shoulder Pain And Corticosteroid Injections
Cortisone is a kind of steroid that reduces inflammation. A corticosteroid injection, or cortisone shot, is an injection of cortisone into a tendon to reduce inflammation and pain.
Theyre often used for joint pain such as carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain, and shoulder pain.
Cortisone shots can reduce inflammation and shoulder pain in the short term, but as soon as the drugs start to wear off, the pain returns.
Some researchers also think theres a link between cortisone shots and tendon degeneration, although thats still largely unproven.
The bottom line is that, in most cases, cortisone shots arent going to reduce your shoulder pain for long, and wont do anything to heal your shoulder.
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Path To Improved Health
Your doctor can help you with a treatment plan to relieve the pain and help you restore your shoulder to normal function. Pain relief strategies include active rest. During active rest, you can and should move your shoulder. Avoid difficult activities like lifting heavy objects or repetitive overhead movements. You may also get relief by applying ice, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen or naproxen , and, occasionally, an injection of anti-inflammatory steroids. Special exercises may also help.
The first step of rehabilitation therapy is simple range-of-motion exercises. By bending over and moving your shoulder in large circles, you will help to avoid the serious complication of rotator cuff injury, called a frozen shoulder. You should follow these range-of-motion exercises with resistance exercises using rubber tubing or light dumbbells. The final step is resistance training with weight machines or free weights.
Causes Of Shoulder Impingement
When you lift your arm, the rotator cuff tendon passes through a narrow space at the top of your shoulder, known as the subacromial space.
Shoulder impingement happens when the tendon rubs or catches on the bone at the top of this space, called the acromion.
This can be caused by:
- the tendon becoming swollen, thickened or torn this can be due to an injury, overuse of the shoulder or “wear and tear” with age
- the fluid-filled sac found between the tendon and acromion becoming irritated and inflamed this can also be caused by an injury or overuse of the shoulder
- the acromion being curved or hooked, rather than flat this tends to be something you’re born with
- bony growths on the acromion these can develop as you get older
Page last reviewed: 29 April 2020 Next review due: 29 April 2023
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How To Relieve Shoulder Pain For Good:
Thankfully, there is hope for you and your shoulder pain. This recovery comes with strengthening the shoulder and practicing proper motion. You can successfully strengthen your shoulder joint by utilizing anti-inflammatory treatments, such as ice applications, cortisone injections and medications, along with physical therapy. Your goal isnt treating the rotator cuff itself, but instead, healing the muscles and tendons, which is accomplished by the methods just mentioned.
What Are Shoulder Pain Treatments And Home Remedies
For dislocations, separations, and fractures, you need a doctorâs help to get your shoulder back in the right position and then a sling to hold it in place while it heals.
If your shoulder doesnât improve after these first steps, your doctor may try injecting a corticosteroid straight into the joint to relieve swelling and pain.
Sometimes cartilage tears, rotator cuff tears, and frozen shoulder donât improve with rest and medicine. Your doctor may recommend surgery.
With any problem in your shoulder, your treatment plan will probably include exercises to help you stretch and strengthen the joint, and to improve your range of motion.
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Increase Your Shoulder Strength
If you arent currently lifting weights, and doing so doesnt hurt your shoulder, then you should start.
You dont need to do special physical therapy exercises either. The study listed above used simple dumbbell exercises like the dumbbell row, dumbbell shrug, and lateral raise.
If youd like to learn how to increase your shoulder strength, check out this article:
Shoulder Pain And Physical Therapy
Physical therapy, also called physiotherapy , involves using exercises, special devices, and education to help people regain or preserve healthy movement.
PT can involve any number of different treatments from massage to special movement exercises to medical devices that reinforce proper movement. Different physical therapists also have different methods and recommend different techniques, so its hard to say across the board whether it works or not.
When it comes to shoulder pain, studies are hit and miss. Some show it helps, others dont, and many of them are too small or low quality to tell either way.
Interestingly, one thing we do know is that the people who are happiest with their physical therapist generally have the best results. Whether thats because simply feeling like youre in the hands of a trained, kind professional reduces pain, or whether these people liked their therapist more because they did a great job, is impossible to say.
What we can say, is that if you decide to see a physical therapist, make sure its someone you like.
The bottom line is that physical therapy might help reduce shoulder pain, but that depends on whats causing the pain and what the therapist recommends.
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Shoulder Pain And Glucosamine Chondroitin
Glucosamine and chondroitin are structural components of collagen, the main protein that forms cartilage.
Both compounds are produced naturally by the body, but theyre also sold together as the supplement glucosamine-chondroitin. The idea is that by providing the body with more of these two chemicals, you can improve joint health.
It hasnt panned out that way, though.
Theres no evidence that joint pain is caused by a lack of glucosamine and chondroitin, so it doesnt make sense that supplementing with these compounds would reduce joint pain.
It flat out doesnt work.
The bottom line is that glucosamine-chondroitin supplements have never been proven to reduce or prevent joint pain.
Most Common Shoulder Injuries From Weight Lifting
- Biceps Tendonitis feels like a dull ache in the shoulder due to an inflammation of the biceps tendon.
- Inflammation of the fluid filled joint sac which helps to cushion the shoulder joint
- Rotator cuff tendonitis is an inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon which will be painful if you raise or rotate your arm
- Sprains or strains occur from over stretching or partial tearing of a ligament in the shoulder or tendons. You will feel pain with any movement.
- Partial or complete rotator cuff tear and labrum tear is a more serious injury. You will have severe pain and an appointment with Greater Rochester Orthopaedics is necessary as soon as possible.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between normal after workout soreness and an actual injury, so if you experience redness, if the site is warm to the touch, swollen and/or painful, call Greater Rochester Orthopaedics.
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How Can We Help You
At Melbourne Sports Physiotherapy our goal is to get you moving pain free as soon as possible.
But, we also want you to actually move better and live a healthier, more active and fulfilling life!
If your sports, fitness training or work has been wearing your body down, book in with one of our expert massage therapists so we can help you reduce your pain or stiffness.
If you are showing some signs of this condition or simply want help prevent this from happening in the future then book in with one of our highly experienced Remedial Massage Therapists today!
You can make an appointment by calling or booking online.
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Use Proper Form In Your Weightlifting
Weightlifting injuries are less common than most people think, but when they do happen, its often because the person wasnt using proper technique.
Form mistakes go far beyond the heavy half repping that gives a bad name to the big compound lifts like the squat, deadlift, bench press, and military press. You can work with proper amounts of weight and use a full range of motion and still put yourself at a considerable risk of injury.
- If you round your back during a deadlift, or hyperextend it too far at the top, youre asking for a lower back injury.
- If you flatten your back and round your shoulders at the top of a bench press, or flare your elbows out too much, youll probably have shoulder problems at some point.
- If you let your knees bow in when you squat, you can really hurt them when going heavy.
Most exercises have little quirks like these, which is why you should take the time to learn proper form on everything youre doing, and make sure to stick to it.
Bodybuilding.coms videos are a great resource for this, and you may also like the following articles on how to do some of the most important lifts:
Many peoples warm-up routines consist of a few minutes of static stretching.
This is a bad way to go about it.
Static stretching before exercise has been shown to impair speed and strength, and not only fail to help prevent injury, but possibly increase risk of injury due to the cellular damage it causes to muscle and its analgesic effect.