In 2016, I attended the brilliant Musculoskeletal and Sports International Master Class for physiotherapists by Dr Chris Littlewood. Dr Littlewood was at that time a Senior Research Fellow with the University of Sheffield. This event was organised by the Australian Physiotherapists Association.
New treatment ideas were presented for physiotherapists treating shoulder injuries, and I have subsequently incorporated some of these into my clinical practice.
My experience since making these changes is that my patients with shoulder pain and dysfunction are improving more so than before.
Shoulder Tears are Common
Studies have shown that the prevalence of shoulder tears, both partial- and full-thickness tears, in asymptomatic patients (ie. patients without any symptoms) is over 50% in people older than age 60 years, and 80% in those older than 80 years. These tears may have come about through various means such as falls and others through wear and tear.
Many of us are accustomed to considering the amount of pain as being related to the amount of visible damage. It is normal to think that a person with a small gash to their forearm will have less pain than a person with a large cut. However, we are also aware that a paper cut can be painful. The presence and even severity of rotator cuff tendon bears little relationship to pain experienced.
As a physiotherapist, I have noted that the presence of physical signs of damage do not always cause pain or decreased function. It seems that shoulder injuries involving rotator cuff tears often fit this scenario. The good news is that although the physical presence of a tear is often not relevant, other factors are, and these usually respond well to physiotherapy treatment.
Please call today to book an appointment to treat your shoulder. Ph. 3205 7019. You are welcome to book online.
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