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“Frozen” shoulder pains

Commonly, people refer a plethora of shoulder problems as “frozen” shoulder pains, although strictly speaking this term is not medically correct. In any case, shoulder pain is common & can be caused by a number of conditions, including:

  • Rotator cuff problem – pain in the shoulder or upper arm. Particularly evident when lifting the arm, lying on it or using sore muscles. It is often the result of repetitive overuse of the arm & shoulder during a sport or activity. It can also be the result of a shoulder injury. Age can also play a part.
  • Acromioclavicular joint pain – painful joint on the tip of the shoulder where the collarbone & shoulder blade join.
  • Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis – is the painful & gradual stiffening of the shoulder capsule (the tissue surrounding the shoulder joint) & the shoulder often becomes so stiff & painful that it limits ability to use the arm in everyday activities.
Osteopathy and Cranial Therapy Clinic Near Me In Maidstone frozen shoulder pain
  • Referred shoulder pain – pain is experienced in an area away from the injury or problem e.g. pain in the shoulder, usually referred from the neck or upper back. Commonly, people know this as a ‘trapped nerve‘.
  • Osteoarthritis – progressive wearing away of the cartilage of the joint leading to the two bones of the joint rubbing together causing pain. Patients who have had previous trauma or shoulder surgery are most likely to develop osteoarthritis in later life. Symptoms include swelling, stiffness, aching & sharp, stabbing pains.
  • Shoulder instability – dislocation or excessive movement of the shoulder joint.


The way we differentiate these problems is by taking a thorough case history & doing appropriate testing. Sometimes we’ll refer you for a scan if we think it is appropriate.

‘Frozen shoulder’ pains – how can we help?

Here at Baks we always take time to discuss what we think about your pain and what we can do about it. We will also discuss if we are not the best source of help for you. If this is the case, we will be happy to refer you if need be.

Shoulder problems are often complex & can take time to resolve. We will work with you to try & understand the cause. Depending on your age, fitness & diagnosis, a variety of gentle hands-on techniques may be used. These aim to improve movement in the shoulder & reduce tension in any tight muscles.

Management & treatment approaches will be different for every individual & will often take a whole-body approach. Techniques may be used to loosen the joints of the neck, upper, mid-back & shoulder blade area & sometimes the low back & hips if it is felt they are contributing to shoulder pain.

Gentler techniques using Craniosacral therapy can also be used for those less keen on a stronger, more hands on approach.

Specific strengthening or loosening exercises to the shoulder may be offered, along with advice on posture. How the shoulder is used may also be looked at & any lifestyle habits that could contribute to shoulder problems.

X-rays, scans or other tests may be required to make a diagnosis & a referral made to a GP for any further treatment.

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