Updated: Aug 11
Shoulders are your pivotal reason that you have arms. Without the function of the scapula and the inner workings of the capsule, muscles and bursa. You would be left with not much to do with your hands and arms. Shoulder injuries, pain and dysfunction are of the most commonly seen in the clinic and it is is easy to see why. We stress and strain these amazing structures everyday but fail to aid in the maintenance and strength required to keep up with the damage done.
Lets have a quick look at the structure of the shoulder,. This is an intricate and remarkably versatile joint, is comprised of several key anatomical structures. Central to its function is the humerus, the upper arm bone, which articulates with the scapula, commonly known as the shoulder blade.
These bones are stabilised by the rotator cuff, a group of tendons and muscles that envelop and support the joint.
The acromion, a bony projection of the scapula, forms the roof of the shoulder and provides attachment points for various muscles.
The joint is cushioned by the labrum, a ring of cartilage that deepens the socket and enhances stability.
The complex interplay of these components enables the shoulder's incredible range of motion, though its complexity also makes it susceptible to a variety of conditions and injuries. Understanding the intricate anatomy of the shoulder is fundamental to comprehending its mechanics and addressing potential issues.
What are the most common conditions seen?
Rotator Cuff Injuries: These injuries involve damage to the muscles and tendons that make up the rotator cuff, which can be caused by overuse, trauma, or degeneration. Rotator cuff injuries can lead to pain, limited range of motion, and weakness in the shoulder.
Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis): This condition is characterised by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint. The exact cause is not well understood, but it often develops gradually and can severely limit shoulder movement.
Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: This occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become irritated or inflamed as they pass through the narrow space between the humerus (upper arm bone) and the acromion (a bony projection of the shoulder blade). It can result in pain and limited mobility.
Shoulder Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis can affect the shoulder joint, causing pain, stiffness, and decreased range of motion. It's more common in older adults and can result from the natural wear and tear of the joint.
Labral Tears: The labrum is a ring of cartilage that surrounds the shoulder socket and helps stabilise the joint. Tears in the labrum can occur due to trauma or repetitive strain and may cause pain, clicking, or catching sensations
"Keep your face always toward the sunshine—and shadows will fall behind you." - Walt Whitman
So whatever you are faced with there will always be an option for treatment. Naturally going for non-invasive treatments including acupuncture, herbal medicine, physiotherapy and manual therapy, will always be your best option. As long as the trauma is of a nature that does not require surgical intervention to repair.
In clinic a treatment course and time frame all depends on the nature of the issue. A simple bicep strain causing tightness in the front of your shoulder may only need 2-5 sessions coupled with 2wks rest from activity. Where a course for frozen shoulder could take up to 20 sessions over 3-4 months depending on the severity. This may be in conjunction with cortisone and hydrodilation therapy also. Each condition requires a different approach.
If you have a shoulder problem, pain, tightness, past or current injury then consider acupuncture and herbal medicine as a positive influence for your healing solution. Sometimes the simplest solution could be the quickest and most beneficial. Remember that this is a wholistic approach and compliments other therapies. As well increases the benefits of the medications you may be taking or injections you receive.
If you have any questions reach out to the clinic for a phone consult for free. Or just book in online and get started immediately on getting your shoulder back to normal through a treatment plan that delivers results.
A bit about me:
Dr. Jacob Hoskins BHSc Chinese Medicine, DipREM
Dr. Jacob Hoskins is passionate about healing, results and helping others achieve the best out of their lives. Your movement without pain and restriction will give you confidence to carry on doing what you love doing. At Jacob Hoskins Acupuncture your whole health is taken into consideration to create ultimate healing steps towards longevity.