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Shoulder Pain

Jargon free, easy to read guide from our expert osteopaths in Bath

Our Guide to Shoulder Pain

Suffering from Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is one of the most common reasons to visit an osteopath.  The shoulder is a complex set of structures that must work together to provide a lot of mobility and be strong and stable while performing its many actions.

It is made up of three bones, the humerus (upper arm), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone), and between these are joints which allow movement, the movements are produced by a complex set of muscles in and around the upper body. Pain and limited mobility can be produced when these structures are not working in tandem.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can come from a variety of structures around the upper body, for example pain can commonly be referred from the neck into the shoulder and upper back. Most shoulder pain is related to muscular fatigue from overdoing an activity such as DIY or a new exercise programme and should clear up in a few days, however if it persists then the more common reasons are;

Rotator cuff strain

This is a tear in the small muscles that stabilise the shoulder resulting in a change in how the joint moves when the arm is raised. It can be due to a specific incident such as catching a heavy object, or a gradual process that stresses the muscles.  Often tightness or weakness in the shoulder complex can be a factor in how vulnerable the rotator cuff is to injury.

Gleno-humeral instability

Changes in posture, or an imbalance in the musculature can result in the humerus moving forwards in the joint leading to pain in the shoulder when it is moved. This can be the result of a previous injury such as a dislocation, tightness and/or weakness in the various muscles that support the position of the shoulder joint complex, and/or a lack of movement at the base of the neck.

Acromio-clavicular degeneration

The acromio-clavicular joint (A/C joint) is located on the top of your shoulder and is formed by the clavicle and the scapula. It has a small joint surface which must cope with a lot of load over a lifetime meaning it can become painful if overworked.  The cartilage on the joint surface may wear out leading to the body replacing it with rough edged bone (a spur).  This rough edge can catch on surrounding tissues as they pass between the A/C joint and the humerus when the arm is raised, producing pain.

Adhesive Capsulitis (frozen shoulder)

This is a chronic painful condition that leads to restricted movement in the shoulder joint. It can often appear first like a muscle strain but progressively gets more stiff and painful until most actions of the shoulder are problematic. This condition mostly resolves on its own but can take between nine months and two years.

HOW CAN SEEING AN OSTEOPATH HELP?

Osteopaths are highly trained to assess, diagnose and treat various shoulder problems, we can help you find out what structure in the shoulder is causing the pain and why it has become a problem.  Once we have found the source we can perform techniques such as joint articulation and massage that, when coupled with carefully prescribed exercises, have been shown to be effective in treating shoulder pain.

We can also advise you on why certain activities may be contributing to your shoulder pain and then supply you with exercises or advice on how to stop your symptoms reoccurring.

For example, if it is a very specific action such as throwing then we can investigate the biomechanics of that action and improve it via manual therapy and exercises. If you feel pain while or after working or driving we can investigate how your workstation or driving position may be affecting your symptoms.

If you are in a lot of pain then our 45 minute, new patient consultation not only provides the assessment, diagnosis and treatment plan but includes your first treatment so that you can start on your road to recovery immediately.

Do you want to know what is causing your pain and if we can help? Why not take advantage of our new patient assessment introductory offer to get you started towards a tailor made recovery plan for only £19.

Are you in a lot of pain and want to get better as soon as possible?  If so then why not book in for a new patient consultation, with treatment on the day, for £60.

We are also there to help you from home. Take a look at our suite of exercise resources and advice sheets which you can easily download and use from home.

Sources for this text

WHY CHOOSE ALIGN BODY CLINIC?

At Align our focus in on providing expert, up to date care to patients in Bath and the surrounding areas to help them relieve their pain and achieve the most active life possible.  Here are just a few of the ways we do this;

  • We support your recovery, tailoring your treatment to your goals and a pace that works for you
  • We combine exercise and hands on treatment giving you control over your recovery
  • Our team of friendly, experienced osteopaths are available when you need us
  • Our treatment is clinically based, practical and delivers tangible results
  • We offer a low cost new patient assessment for just £19 so you can see for yourself who we are and how we work, with no obligation or  risk
  • We are continually researching new methods of treatment and where appropriate adapting our practices
  • We can provide treatment quickly and offer an easy online booking system so you can arrange the help you need when it suits you

Still unsure?  Don’t take our word for it, read some of the feedback from patients about how we have made a difference to their lives below.

View the list of treatments we provide from our Bath clinic.

Book a new patient consultation for just £60 today.

Read our other articles and advice about shoulder pain.

Help and advice for other common symptoms.

Feedback from our Patients

“I started seeing Jay after I was told to give up on my dream of competing in an IM70.3 this summer. Not only did he make sure I made it to the finish line – but that I crossed it smiling and in a surprisingly impressive time for my age group. My only complaint? I’m totally addicted to tri and already planning next season’s insanity!”

Georgie from Bath

“Yes, I’ve been suffering from a “bad back” for years. Jay has been fantastic in terms of diagnosing my problem, providing a regime to keep my back “under control”, and when the inevitable happens due to my chronic condition he has been amazing in terms of getting me back on my feet again.”

Chris Dance from Bath

“I was starting to suffer from lower back pain and wanted to get on top of it before it prevented me from working. Seeing Jay was the perfect option – he was knowledgable, thorough and great value for money. The exercises to do at home were easy to understand and have cleared my back pain up a treat. I would definitely recommend going to see him.”

Charlotte Bloom from Bath

“Sheena has been paramount in fixing all manner of ailments. Having regular maintenance treatments instead of waiting for a problem to arise, has kept me in tip-top condition and generally feeling in great health, physically and mentally. I would highly recommend Sheena and have even travelled 200 miles on occasions specifically for a treatment!”

M M from Bath

“Before seeing Jay I was having “regular” back problems, however, his excellent diagnosis and effective treatment has helped me tremendously”

Chris Dance from Bath

“Fantastic, deep, subtle, effective treatment, Jay always gets straight to the relevant areas. Have had sessions many years ago as well as recently, and am delighted how long the benefits lasted. Highly recommend.”

Sophie Carrdus from Bradford on Avon

“Sheena has been working on my aches and pains for 3 years now. I have Parkinson’s disease and her work enables me to move more freely, improves my mobility and in turn, helps me to cope with living with Parkinson’s. She is always friendly and dedicated to helping me. I can thoroughly recommend her”

J C from Bath

“I wish I’d found Sheena years ago! Despite a long history of back problems, I’m feeling so much better after just one session. Friendly and professional, she put me instantly at ease, and took the time to understand my history and explain each step of the treatment. Would definitely recommend!”

Vicky Lee from Bath

“I sought help with a long-running problem with my back and shoulder. The advice, treatment and aftercare offered has been worth its weight in gold and I continue to benefit from their expertise and knowledge even now that my current treatment program has completed”

N C from Chippenham

“I’ve had back pain on and off for a while, as a professional athlete, it was putting a lot of strain on my career. I got in contact with Jay after a few failed visits at the physio. I’m now back on the road to full-time training thanks to Jay!”

Jessica Lloyd from Bath

“I was suffering from pain in my neck, but after a couple of sessions with Jay the pain has gone, I wished I had gone months before when it first started instead of suffering.”

Lin Levan from Bristol

“Jay was recommended to me. Immediate improvement in back pain and mobility after the first treatment. Even better after the second treatment. Good to have a programme to follow at home between appointments.”

Ann Kronenberg from Salisbury

“I have seen various Osteopaths over the last few years, with little success. Since being referred to Jay by my PT, my long-standing back condition has dramatically improved and now allows me to enjoy a virtually pain-free existence and a far superior quality of life than before.”

Alan Smith from Bath

“Having been told 10 years ago by shoulder “experts” that nothing could be done to relieve the constant pain I almost gave up on it…one diagnosis and a few treatment sessions with Jay and the pain I’d live with for so long was gone.

Outstanding service, great people and really flexible to my silly work hours, I’ve already recommended ABC to lots of people and intend to refer many more”

George Lewis from Bath

“I have had several different pains and injuries with my body over the last few years, from sports injury to severe pelvic pain during late pregnancy. I strongly urge anyone with any pain in their body to have a consultation and see if they can take that pain away for you”

L G from Keynsham

“Within just a few treatments my levels of neck and upper back pain greatly dissipated allowing me to sleep and function normally again. Jay Ruddock is highly professional and personable with it. I cannot endorse his skills more highly.”

Peter Higgins from Bath

“Jay is a results-oriented Osteopath who I highly recommend. Whether using his skills for myself or my clients, I can be sure Jay will deliver a significant improvement or complete resolution of an issue or multiple issues. Few Osteopaths in the south-west can deliver, Jay Ruddock does.”

M C from Bath

“I have been suffering from muscle aches and spasms for about two years now. I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid last year and it appears the two problems are related. It has basically been constant pain during that period and I have seen roughly 20-25 specialists from doctors to masseuses. Jay actually understands the issue and has an effective approach to helping to relieve some of the trigger points. His work has moved the pain from a 9 down to a 2 or 3. It has been outstanding and I highly recommend him to anyone with similar problems.”

Caroline Lucas from Bath

“Following treatment, I have been able to complete the Bath Half Marathon and go skiing for the first time in 25 years, with no ill effect.”

R P from Bath

“Over 15 years Jay has sorted out a variety of sports injuries and the aftermath of broken bones! I doubt if I would still be caving, running and mountain walking at age 64 if it wasn’t for Jay’s amazing care. Totally brilliant!”

David Lossi from High Littleton

“I have had arthritis in my knees for some time, after treatment with Jay over several weeks I am now walking pain-free without a stick at a normal pace, not bad for a 72-year-old. I cannot recommend Jay too highly.”

A B from Bathford

“Over 12 years of having structural problems put right. Can’t recommend the service enough!”

Tina Johnston from Bradford On Avon

“Sheena has been treating my chronic lower back, after every session my pain is reduced, my stiffness is decreased, and as a result, my overall mood and happiness is significantly improved. I would highly recommend her to anyone requiring treatment”

E S from Bath

“Jay put me back on my feet after a back injury that had worsened over eighteen months of other treatment. I couldn’t walk, sit or even lie down comfortably, Structural Integration (Rolf Method) was my last hope. Jay’s successful treatment outcome for this hypermobile, fibromyalgic, very unfit older woman was a miraculous feat. Thank you, Jay!”

HB Malvern from Bath

“Yes!! I had an acute injury from golf which Jay sorted immediately. Highly recommended”

Johnny Grace from Bath

“Jay has enabled me to get back to cycling and running pain free. I didn’t think it could happen and it has, I’m so grateful! The treatments and exercises Jay has given mean that I’m now able to maintain my back and knee health with a treatment every few months.”

Heidi Rearden from Bath

“I had been having treatment on my shoulder by a different commercial practice previously and it had left me in more pain than when I started, probably because of their ‘one size fits all’ solution-based approach. As such, I was a bit nervous going somewhere else and having more treatment, but after a friend highly recommended Jay I went for a consultation. I was put completely at ease and after the first session, it was evident I had made the right choice. Jay asked lots of questions, talked through the problem and what he would do and why. It was clear that he knew what he was doing! I then had maybe 10 or so sessions and given ‘homework’ exercise to do between sessions and my shoulder is back to normal again now. A massive thank you! :)”

Emma Towse from Bristol

“The treatment was extremely helpful, Jay gave me exercises that I was able to work on at home and are simple to continue with regularly.”

Elizabeth Passingham from Bath

“Have found the treatment really helped. After a couple of sessions, I had no lower back pain. Jay has a very kind and calm manner and I feel is very good at making you feel at ease.”

Becky Clay from Bath

“I saw Sheena today for pregnancy related SPD, she has helped so much after just one session, I would highly recommend her to everyone!”

Renee Clinch from Keynsham

“100 % difference I can go through a day with no pain and I can play sport again, Jay is a man with magic hands!”

Gavin Savage from Southwick

“Very good location, quick and easy online booking system. Had me back to normal within a few sessions. Very grateful and would fully recommend to anyone.”

Anonymous

“Better than I ever thought it could be! Such great progress over a short period of time and I couldn’t be happier with all the work Jay has done to improve my long term…”

Matthew Warman from Bath

“I wish I had contacted Jay sooner with my persistent bad neck. The treatments have made a massive difference to my daily life.”

Molly Keel from Bath

“On retirement, I treated myself to Body Alignment sessions to clear some long-standing problems I had with my body – from accidents, work, age etc. I could not be more pleased with the results of Jay’s efforts. I have climbed mountains, taken up sailing and can say I feel better in my body since retirement than for many years before. Many thanks for the exercises, my knee is no longer troublesome. When I reach the top of a hill with no difficulty, I try to remember to thank my lucky stars I made the investment in my future and booked that first appointment. Thank you.”

Anonymous

“Sheena made a huge difference to my pain after just one visit. She also used acupuncture at the same visit at no extra cost which was helpful for my symptoms.”

Lisa Slater from Bath

“The treatments are very informal and informative and have helped me understand why I was in pain and reduce the chance of it happening again”

Cliff Looker from Devizes

“My son was having an ongoing problem with his shoulder that physio alone did not solve. Jay worked on it over a number of weeks and he is now back to full strength playing rugby.”

Anonymous

“Sheena has made such a difference to my long term aches and pains, and also shorter terms issues from too much DIY! She always takes the time to listen and try and pinpoint the reason or cause, and treat accordingly. I’ve also had acupuncture, which I was sceptical about, but it really worked and had great results. I am very pleased with the professional and caring approach and would not hesitate to recommend Sheena to others.”

Amanda Watts from Bath

“After hurting my hip during a hike two years ago, Jay’s significantly reduced the pain and I feel I now have a chance of getting back to normal and walking pain-free for the first time in ages – thanks Jay, I’m definitely glad I came along to the Clinic!”

Sophie J from Bath

“I was having problems with a rugby injury and struggled to get much movement in my lower back. Jay was able to diagnose potential causes and increase my movement range. the improvement after the first session was huge and in each session since it has continued to improve.”

Laura Mahoney from Bath

“Having suffered acute back pain for over six months and having had treatment previously, Align Body Clinic was suggested to me. Since going to see them and having had approximately 6 treatments, supplemented by an advised stretching regime, I feel almost back to normal. The treatment and consultation advice has provided me with the knowledge that will help me move forward and avoid a reoccurrence. I would have no trouble in recommending Align Body Clinic and would like to thank Jay for getting me back onto the road to recovery – and the badminton court!”

Jonathan Mardon from Bath