Shoulder pain is a relatively common and painful affliction for swimmers, bowlers and others who repetitively use their arms and shoulders.

This page explains the most common form of shoulder pain and tells you how you can overcome the problem.

Our goal is to help you be the best you can be. The first step towards pain-free shoulders can be as simple as Making an appointment online with Melbourne Wellness resident Osteopath.

What is Shoulder Pain?

  • Recent studies have revealed that 6 out of 10 causes of shoulder pain are associated with supraspinatous tendonitis.
  • This condition involves inflammation of the tendon of the supraspinatous muscle most commonly caused by repetitive strain.
  • It is located deep in the shoulder and is one of the four major stabilizer muscles.
  • People, who are involved in physical activities such as swimming tend to display symptoms of this condition.

How common is shoulder pain?

  • Supraspinatous tendonitis is the most common inflammatory condition of the shoulder and is typically people in people aged 20-40.
  • Although it is generally an overuse injury seen in people involved in sports that require repetitive over head or throwing movements, 1 in 3 cases are due to direct injury. It is also common in the population aged over 50 due to the loss of elasticity associated with ageing.

How does shoulder pain develop?

Multiple factors are associated with shoulder pain development. The most common causes are:

  • A sudden increase in training intensity
  • A rapid increase in training frequencyshoulder pain treatment
  • Poor core strength
  • All of these factors place more stress on the tendon and predispose it to injury where it attaches on the inside of the shoulder.


  • Pain radiating across the top of the shoulder
  • Difficulty lifting the arm sideways
  • Pain aggravated by physical activity
  • Pain at night with occasional sharp sensations when changing side sleeping
  • Pain persisting for weeks with stiffness worse in the morning

Danger Signs

  • When the inflammation persist and becomes chronic, the prolonged pain may lead to permanent disability.
  • If the shoulder begins to show signs of swelling, it may indicate signs of a pathological condition, such as bursitis or shoulder dislocation.
  • If there is sudden chest pressure or crushing pain associated with the severe sudden shoulder pain, medical attention should be sought immediately as it can be an indication of a heart attack.

How can Osteopathy help my shoulder pain?

  • It is important to note that tendons, structures that attach muscle to bone, have a limited blood supply and therefore do not heal easily without treatment. This is why the pain can last for months or even years.
  • Ignoring the signs and symptoms of the condition or maintaining a ‘no pain no gain’ approach will likely result in permanent disability of the shoulder.
  • If the pain is not managed effectively, it will severely limit shoulder movement and also cause secondary muscular pain especially in the neck and upper back region. In addition, ongoing repetitive strain may also lead to long term osteoarthritis of the shoulder.
  • Appropriate treatment and care can reduce the associated complication, making it easier to live a healthy active life and enjoy the sports you love.
  • Osteopathic treatment relives the tension in the ECRB tendon through a wide range of techniques including cross friction massage, joint manipulation, muscle stretching and dry needling are used to stimulate healing and reduce pain

Treatment time varies among individuals but virtually everyone sees an improvement right from the first session. Our Osteopath will also advise you of key in between treatment activities you can perform at home, to maximise your recovery and minimise any further damage from activity.

Enjoy freedom from Shoulder Pain

If you want to enjoy unrestricted shoulder movement without pain once again, come and see Melbourne Wellness resident Osteopath who has had great success working with senior footballers, athletes and the wider population.

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