UPPER EXTREMITY PAIN
An osteopath will work with you to try and understand the cause of your shoulder problem. Shoulder Pain is common and can be caused by a number of conditions. These conditions include:
- Rotator cuff problem - pain in the shoulder or upper arm, particularly when lifting the arm, lying on it or using the sore muscles. It is often the result of repetitive overuse of the arm and shoulder during a sport or activity or the result of a shoulder injury. Age can also play a part.
- Acromioclavicular joint pain - painful joint on the tip of the shoulder where the collarbone and shoulder blade join
- Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis - is the painful and gradual stiffening of the shoulder capsule (the tissue that surrounds your shoulder joint) and the shoulder can often become so stiff and painful that it limits your ability to use your arm in everyday activities.
- Referred shoulder pain - pain is experienced in an area away from the actual injury or problem e.g. pain in shoulder which is usually referred from the neck or upper back
- Osteoarthritis – progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint leading to the two bones of the joint rubbing together causing pain. Patients who have had previous trauma or shoulder surgery are most likely to develop osteoarthritis in later life. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, aching and sharp, stabbing pains.
- Shoulder instability – dislocation or excessive movement of the shoulder joint.
How can an Osteopath help?
- Depending on your age, fitness and the diagnosis we may use a variety of massage, rhythmical articulation and stretching techniques to try and improve the movement in your shoulder and reduce tension in any tight muscles.
- Treatment is different in every individual and we may massage and loosen the joints of the neck and upper and mid back and shoulder blade area and sometimes the low back and hips if we feel they are contributing to your shoulder pain.
- We may offer specific strengthening or loosening exercises to the shoulder and offer advice on posture and look at how you use your shoulder and any lifestyle habits that may be contributing to your shoulder problem.
- X-rays, scans or other tests may be required to make a diagnosis and we may refer you to your GP for any further treatment. Shoulder problems are often complex and can take a long time to resolve.
Hand & Wrist Pain
Pain occurring in the hand can sometimes be relieved by the gentle manual treatment of osteopaths depending on the cause.
Osteoarthritis or wear and tear in the joints of the hand and the elbow may be the cause of your symptoms and may benefit from osteo based treatments and advice.
X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make a diagnosis and your osteopath may refer to your GP or a specialist for any additional investigations or treatments.
Pain in the elbow is often due to two main conditions – tennis elbow and golfers elbow.
Tennis elbow causes pain and tenderness around the outside of the elbow joint, whereas golfer’s elbow causes pain around the inner side of the joint.
Tennis elbow is more common than golfers elbow and both are injuries from repetitive overuse or wear and tear from any hobby, sport or activity not just tennis or golf as the name implies. Sometimes a single injury such as a sudden unexpected tug on the forearm can cause the symptoms.
Once the pain starts, your normal activities and habits can maintain the problem.
Pre-existing problems with your neck, wrist or shoulder, that might not be painful in themselves, can make it more likely for you to suffer with tennis or golfers elbow. Most cases ease naturally eventually but many people seek treatments and advice from an osteopath.
How can an osteopath help with Tennis elbow and Golfers elbow?
- We can use a variety of different massage and manipulation techniques to try to ease your symptoms, get to the cause of the problem and get you back to your normal life style. We may gently manipulate the elbow, wrist, neck and upper back joints.
- We may offer you advice on which activities and movements to avoid, advice on specific exercise and advice an appropriate elbow brace support or sports strapping.
- We may suggest you see your GP for advice about pain medication or anti-inflammatories or refer you to them for further investigations.