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Shoulder pain is very common and can originate from a number of structures around the shoulder. In this article, we discuss what you can do when suffering from this condition, and how we can help you.

Shoulder pain

What causes shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain can originate from a number of structures around the shoulder, including:

  • The rotator cuff muscles

  • AC joint

  • Labrum of the shoulder

  • Nerve related (referred from neck issues)


The most common cause of shoulder pain stems from the rotator cuff: either overload or tears of the 4 rotator cuff tendons.

Shoulder rotator cuff

What should you do if you suffer from shoulder pain?


Firstly get a DIAGNOSIS! It’s important to know exactly what has been injured. Once you have a diagnosis, then get a PLAN moving forward! A thorough assessment will ensure that treatment and rehabilitation can address any issues identified, and reduce the chances of you suffering another injury, and get you back out there as soon as possible.

It’s vital to see your health practitioner to firstly assess and diagnose your problem and secondly to create an INDIVIDUALIZED rehabilitation program.

Secondly, it's important to remain as active as possible: don’t just stop doing everything! There are usually modifications that you can perform for your chosen sport to keep you training and playing. For an article, we have previously written on modifying common gym exercises for shoulder pain click here

Shoulder pain

What is our unique approach to shoulder pain?

  • Firstly, it is important to have a thorough discussion about your problem and some of the factors that may have contributed to it. This will include a chat about your training and any lifestyle factors that may be playing a role in your shoulder pain ie sleep, stress, diet, occupation, and exercise.

  • At Health & High Performance we pride ourselves on a thorough examination to ensure an accurate diagnosis to then lead to targeted treatment, allowing you to get back to the things you love as soon as possible.

  • Using our state of the art AxIT system, we are able to measure shoulder strength to assist you eliminate pain and get back to doing what you love. Read more about the AxIT system here.

Spinal strength testing

The Kinetic chain

  • Did you know what your neck issues, low back pain, knee problems, and even previous ankle injuries may contribute to your shoulder pain? At Health and High Performance, we recognize the importance of this "kinetic chain" with all injuries. For example, issues in the leg can affect how you throw, placing an increased demand on the shoulder, and leading to injury. So when you see us for your shoulder issue, we will certainly assess other areas that may be contributing.

Kinetic chain weak link
  • See the video below for some of the comprehensive tests that we may perform for those in throwing sports (i.e. cricket, baseball, water polo) with shoulder pain.

Rehabilitation & return to sport

“Every shoulder injury is unique, treatment should be too”


After a comprehensive examination, we are able to identify factors that contribute to your shoulder pain, and treatment can then focus on these. 

We consider every case on a holistic basis and create Comprehensive Management Plans incorporating three primary modalities:

  1. Manual Chiropractic Therapy (spinal adjustments, soft tissue)

  2. Active Care (dynamic rehabilitation, exercise therapy, movement modification, training load management and running gait modification)

  3. Lifestyle Advice (stress management, recovery, sleep, nutrition)

We actively integrate and openly communicate with each patient and other members of their health & performance team (GPs, coaches, personal trainers, other health practitioners, etc.). This ensures that everyone is on the same page to help you recover. 

Rehabilitation exercises

Immediately commencing rehabilitation: from Day 1 there will be exercises you can perform to hasten your recovery. These exercises are prescribed according to criteria (what you can/can’t do) not just based on time. In a 2017 study by Bayer et al, they compared commencing rehab at 2 days versus 9 days, and found that those starting rehab 1 week earlier, returned to their sport a staggering 3 weeks earlier! Read more here

To read all about how you can continue to train in the gym, head to our blog on this topic here.

Need further help?

Please don't hesitate to contact us for a thorough assessment of your shoulder issues and to formulate a plan to get you back to health & high performance!

Health & High Performance “Realize your goals”

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