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Shoulder Pain Treatment Pathway

Settling Symptoms

  • Shoulder pain can be very intense in the acute stages, depending on the type of injury you’ve sustained.

  • Our first port of call with shoulder pain cases would be to try to settle down the symptoms so that we can get you moving easier with better quality movement.

  • When we’re in pain our body’s natural reaction will be to try to protect the painful area, this can lead to muscles around the shoulder and neck becoming very tight, tired and achey.

  • When the muscles are in protective mode, it can feel similar to holding a really tight fist for 5 minutes, your hand is going to get very sore and tight, regardless of anything being structurally wrong with the hand.

  • This is why your shoulder, neck and even your chest can feel tired and achey, especially at the end of the day.

  • It can also restrict your movement so that you may not be able to reach up to wash your hair or you can’t reach behind your back to put your arm into your jacket.

  • Our main aim at the start of your treatment pathway is to minimise these reactions and help the muscles to relax and allow your shoulder to move through its full range of motion.

  • We can use hands on treatment like soft tissue massage or dry needling, breathing techniques and mobility exercises to help the muscles relax.

  • We will also go through movement strategies to help you do your daily activities without irritating your shoulder
  • Treating the Source of the Problem


    Here at Compass Physio, we’re not just going to focus on your symptoms, we will really hone in on finding the true cause of your shoulder pain. Alot of the time, the shoulder can end up being sore because it may be doing too much work relative to the rest of the muscles in the arm or the back.

  • When you come to the clinic with shoulder pain, we will ask you about any previous injuries you’ve had or anything that may have changed around the time your shoulder started hurting. This will give us clues on what could be contributing to your pain.

  • Alot of the time, you could have had a previous wrist or elbow injury and you may not be utilising the muscles through your arm very well, especially when your workload or stress increases. This old injury may not be consciously bothering you but when you’re out in the garden doing hours of cutting down branches over your head, these little inefficiencies from old injuries can mean that the muscles around the shoulder can end up being overloaded or working too hard to compensate.

  • After doing our assessment where we test your muscle strength in each direction, we will aim to get you building strength from your wrist right up your arm, into your shoulder and also utilising your core strength. Our bodies tend to work best as a cohesive unit rather than individual muscles on their own so we will tailor your rehabilitation exercises to your particular issue and specific to your end goal.

  • The picture on the left below is an example of how an old wrist injury can cause the shoulder to have to work too hard, whereas, in the picture on the right, everything is working well together to share the workload.
  • Tailored rehabilitation plan with your specific goal in mind

  • During your assessment we will ask you what you really want to get back to doing and what the pain is hindering you from doing at the moment. As in all areas of life, it is very important to have a specific end goal in mind. This ensures that you will be able to see progress all the way through your treatment sessions with us.

  • We will reverse engineer your rehab exercises to get you to your end goal as quickly as we can.

  • Your rehabilitation will follow a step by step process of graded exposure so that you build up your capacity to handle higher levels of load or faster movements in a safe way as you earn the right to progress through your plan.
  • Simple Exercises & Easy to Follow Instructions via Our App

  • We like to use simple movements or exercises that you can include in your day to day movements so that we are not adding more tasks to your already busy lives.

  • One of the biggest issues we find with people that fail to get out of pain is that they don’t complete their exercises through the whole graded exposure pathway. This can mean that when you go back to doing activities that require a higher level of strength your shoulder pain can flare up again.

  • We want to set you up for success so we will discuss when you can fit these movements into your daily activities or your normal routine.

  • Your exercises will get a little bit more challenging as you progress through your plan so that you are constantly seeing your progress and we’re keeping that motivation high.
  • Follow-up

  • After you have completed your treatment pathway with us at Compass Physio we have a fantastic resource available to you in our Compass Health Community where you have access to numerous pilates classes per week and access to our physios and athletic therapists if you ever have any questions about any part of your physical health.

  • You could also choose the option to just do one or two pilates classes per week with our highly qualified therapists.

  • There is also an option to do 1 on 1 exercise or pilates sessions with our highly skilled therapists.

  • At Compass Physio, we pride ourselves in our aftercare service so we will keep in touch with you to see how you are getting on with keeping up some exercises or movements to maintain the improvements you have made throughout your treatment pathway with us. This will help you to avoid any flare ups in the future and allow you to get back to thoughtless, fearless, movement.
  • How Can Physiotherapy Help?

    If you are finding it hard to complete regular exercises due to pain, fatigue or simply time schedules speak to us at Compass Physio.

    Exercise is for everybody. At Compass physio we will complete a full physical assessment and will help identify any possible underlying causes that may limit your exercise regime.

    Our chartered physiotherapists will help you to build strength and strategies which will help tackle any problem.

    At Compass physio we will help you succeed and reach your goals.

    To find out how Compass Physio can help, call 046 954 9456 (this number covers all clinics), click here to book online.

    You can also email any questions to info@compassphysio.ie

    Paddy Mulligan – MISCP Chartered Physiotherapist Compass Physio

    Call Us: 046 954 9456
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