Ben Corso, founder of the Physio Clinic recently attended a workshop on the management of shoulder pain, presented by Dr Chris Littlewood who is a researcher in the UK.
Dr Littlewood presented the most up-to-date evidence on how shoulder pain should be managed by physiotherapists. This course was well attended by Italian physiotherapists in Milan, Italy over two days in May 2017 and organised through Simone Scaglioni of Manualmente.
Below is a patient centred summary of the information presented and how this can assist in the management of shoulder pain patients.
“My shoulder hurts! I can move my arm but it hurts when I lift something. It exacerbates my pain and it makes it difficult to sleep at night.”
Does this sound familiar? The reality based on the latest research evidence is that if you develop shoulder pain for the first time there is a:
70% chance it will not be recovered within six weeks
50% chance the pain will be persistent after six months
40% chance of not recovering after 12 months
Do you need a scan?
The answer is probably not. It has been reported that up to 40% of scans reveal normal age related changes in the shoulder, even tendon tears, and these have nothing to do with your shoulder pain. In other studies up to 96% of scans in people WITHOUT shoulder pain show some abnormality! So the answer is to seek physiotherapy treatment before seeking a scan.
Do you need an injection?
This is something that may be recommended by your doctor. The research evidence suggests that at best, a steroid gives some benefit in the short term, but long term the benefit is no different to physiotherapy.
In fact of most concern is that having an injection may actually be harmful in the longer term, with evidence suggesting that outcomes are worse, recurrent rates are higher and healthcare costs are increased, compared to no injection and physiotherapy. So again, the recommendation is to seek treatment before an injection.
So what’s the good news?
Research has shown that an exercise program for your shoulder is more likely to give a positive response after 12 weeks.
You are more likely to do your exercises and get better results if you are guided by a physiotherapist rather than just follow a leaflet or read 'Dr Google!'
Resistance exercises are best and they must be performed daily over 12 weeks – for optimum results. The research has suggested that the correct exercises, performed consistently, were equally as effective as surgery.
So see your physio today, get the right solution to managing your shoulder pain and say goodbye to pain!
The Physio Clinic has qualified physiotherapists that treat and manage shoulder pain.
Simply phone 8342 1233 for an initial appointment at one of our four locations across Adelaide or click below to book a physio online.
Prospect | Findon | Burnside Hospital | Blackwood