Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is a highly mobile joint. It is a ball and socket joint with a large ball and a small socket making it inherently unstable. The shoulder relies on the strength and co-ordination of the muscles surrounding the shoulder to help maintain its stability.

Common source of symptoms

Joints (gleno-humeral, AC)

Tendons (rotator cuff, biceps etc)


Ligaments and capsule





Referred (neck)

What causes shoulder pain?

The vast majority of shoulder conditions are a result of muscle imbalance due to weakness, posture, biomechanics or loading. These may increase over time or due to a sudden overload on the tissues such as a weekend of painting.


Other shoulder injuries occur due to trauma. As the shoulder is inherently unstable it is also vulnerable to subluxations and dislocations. These generally occur with a high amount of force, but for a percentage of the population they may occur spontaneously due to ligament laxity. It is important to see a health professional following subluxation/dislocation to ensure full recovery and address the muscle strength and co-ordination surrounding the shoulder region.

Whilst trauma can lead to subluxations and dislocations it can also cause damage to other structures in the shoulder without this occurring.

Both overuse and acute trauma can cause injuries to the shoulder structures.

At Sportsfit Physio and Health our Physios have all the tools to ensure you have a full recovery.


Determining the cause of the injury and whether it is acute or overload is important to help guide your management and assessment.


Management of the acute shoulder aims to reduce the load on the shoulder, reduce pain and restore movement as able. Rehabilitation will depend on your injury. It will likely include strengthening the muscles around your shoulder and shoulder blade, exercises to improve your range of movement, proprioception exercises as well as hands on therapy from your physiotherapist.


Management of the overuse/postural shoulder injury will aim to reduce pain and then address the acute of your overload. This may include education regarding your work station set up, appropriate posture and exercise techniques. A rehabilitation program will address the areas which need to be strengthened or moving more freely. Programs are individualised to address your personal needs.


Our physiotherapists at Sportsfit are all highly trained and will complete a comprehensive assessment to offer you the most appropriate treatment plan to get you back into action.

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