Shoulder Pain Update.

I attended a great course and workshop with Associate Professor Karen Ginn, from the University of Sydney, recently. The course was held in the Leinster Rugby camp at UCD. What a set up!karen ginn

Research is showing that specific, prescribed and tailored EXERCISE is:

  • More effective than no shoulder treatment
  • More effective than standard physiotherapy (i.e. manual therapy, massage, mobilisations)
  • More effective as surgery plus physiotherapy
  • Reduces the need for shoulder surgery
  • Equally effective as cortisone injection and standard physiotherapy

Do you have an exercise for your shoulder pain? Without it it doesn’t look like you are going to reduce your pain.

The evidence is there that the most effective way to treat a shoulder problem is with prescriptive controlled exercises.

Karen has a PhD from the University of New South Wales and is involved in research related to the assessment and treatment of shoulder dysfunction which includes clinical trials to investigate the efficacy of conservative and surgical treatment for shoulder dysfunction.

We practiced and discussed using lots of interesting and effective exercise techniques to reduce and treat common shoulder complaints in athletes and general population. The idea is to get the shoulder and shoulder blade muscles working in the correct order. Normally pain presents because of a movement or stability issue in an area and the shoulder is no different. the position of your arm and the speed at which you do the specific exercise will increase the challenge to your muscles. Interestingly adding load or a weight does not necessarily improve your muscle movement pattern and co-ordination!

Leinster Rugby Gym, UCD
Leinster Rugby Gym, UCD

If you have a shoulder issue, ensure you are getting the best possible care from your therapist. Make sure you get a rehabilitation exercise to do at home in between sessions and if you are unclear about how to do the exercise make sure you go through it with your therapist in enough detail. Quality, frequency of this rehab exercise is what will make all the difference to your quality of life. The evidence is out there!

Orla Crosse, Chartered Physiotherapist.