Where does my shoulder pain come from?

Where does my shoulder pain come from?

Where does my shoulder pain come from?


Shoulder pain and injury are one of the most common complaints reported to a physiotherapist. This is largely due to the complex architecture, large degree mobility and therefore inherent lack of stability from which it operates. Further contributing factors to shoulder pain are the demands that your shoulder is placed under through daily life activities, work and sport/exercise.

The shoulder joint is thus referred to as the “shoulder complex” and involves 3 physiological joints and one “floating” joint. This is comprised of the:

  • Glenohumeral joint
  • Acromioclavicular joint
  • Sternoclavicular joint
  • Scapulothoracic joint (“floating”)

There are many factors involved as to why someone may begin to experience shoulder pain. Noting the complexity above, a physiotherapist will assess each of these joints individually. Other areas assessed include the cervical spine (neck) and thorax (mid back). These segments often refer pain to the shoulder or affect its function depending on postural integrity and strength/endurance of the muscles that support them.

Treatment for Shoulder Pain

Treatment is determined by the assessment findings and will usually involve soft tissue massage, passive and active joint mobilisations, and dry needling. Another important aspect physiotherapist treatments offers is education regarding posture and specific exercises designed to reduce pain, restore optimal function and improve strength and quality of life.

Treatment for shoulder complaints is thus not as simple as working on symptoms. It is important to define the root cause of the issues through diligent assessment, both objective and subjective. As the saying goes “where the pain is, the problem isn’t”. This has proven to be profoundly true in most cases.

If you are experiencing any shoulder concerns, its highly advised to seek the care of a physiotherapist to assist you on your return to a fully active and pain-free life. You can BOOK ONLINE or call us on 9267 3775.

Sam Morgan MPhty., MClinExPhys., BSc (ExSc), MAPA