Shoulder Pain

What’s causing my Shoulder Pain? 

Shoulder Impingement is by far the most common cause of shoulder pain we see at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy… however, if left untreated it can go on and develop into a chronic Rotator Cuff Injury.

Shoulder Impingement occurs when one of the Rotator Cuff tendons becomes pinched, or “impinged”, within the space between the ball and socket of the shoulder. It is most commonly seen in people who engage in repetitive overhead activity, such as swimmers, body builders, scaffolders, throwing athletes and racquet sportsmen.

Shoulder Impingement is not a normal part of shoulder movement, however if it continues to occur, the Rotator Cuff tendon may become inflamed, a condition known as Rotator Cuff Tendonitis.

The Rotator Cuff can also be acutely damaged or “tear” with a sudden forceful movement, however Shoulder Impingement is generally a warning sign and precursor for a chronic Rotator Cuff Injury.

Signs & Symptoms of Shoulder Impingement

  • dull ache “inside” the shoulder, but can also be felt in the upper arm
  • the shoulder pain will become more constant as your condition worsens
  • painful with lying on the sore shoulder
  • weakness in shoulder muscles
  • pain with reaching overhead, out to the side or behind your back
  • pain with driving or when putting on your seat belt

What Causes Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder Impingement may occur from either structural or postural/movement causes.

Structural narrowing from bone spurs or arthritis reduces the space available for the Rotator Cuff tendons to move within the shoulder, therefore increasing the likelihood of impingement. This type of impingement largely occurs in the older population.

Shoulder Impingement resulting from postural and movement causes occur at any age and are much more common as multiple factors may exist at the same time. Risk factors include:

  • poor posture
  • upper back and shoulder stiffness
  • rotator cuff weakness
  • muscle tightness, especially in the chest muscles
  • poor shoulder blade stability
  • previous injury to the shoulder joint
  • training errors, including improper technique


How can we help?

  • Mobilisations / Manipulations (Adjustments) of the upper back and shoulder to improve posture and promote normal movement.
  • Soft Tissue Massage to release tight muscles around the shoulder. This will be combined with a home-based Stretching Program.
  • Acupuncture / Dry Needling to reduce pain and deactivate trigger points. This can be performed with Electrotherapy if indicated.
  • Kinesio-Taping to improve posture and help with muscle retraining.
  • Develop a Strength & Stability Program for the Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Blade muscles.
  • Address Training Errors. This will involve discussing your training volume and correcting any inappropriate exercises.


Is your shoulder pain stopping you from working or training like you use to? Are you worried you will soon have to give it up altogether? Research shows that physiotherapy is proven to be an effective way of treating shoulder pain.

See an expert at Spine & Sports Physiotherapy now to fix your shoulder and get back to doing the things you want to do!!!

So if you are in pain and need to get this fixed ASAP…

Take advantage of our FREE Assessment -> click here for more information