Do I need a scan to diagnose my shoulder pain?

There is often not a single simple explanation for your shoulder pain, and findings on scans often reveal changes which are normal signs of ageing rather than the root cause of your pain.
For instance, degenerative changes in the rotator cuff tendons, cartilage damage and arthritis, are all often found when scanning individuals with no shoulder pain or weakness.
Shoulder pain is likely to be caused by a multitude of factors which can often be addressed with exercise.

How will exercise help my shoulder pain?

Research has proven that exercise is often as effective as surgery for treating shoulder pain. However, exercise doesn’t just improve your pain, it does so much more:
  • Promotes healing
  • Strengthens your muscles and tendons
  • Increases your confidence and trust in your shoulder
  • Reduces your pain and fear to move
  • Builds your capacity and tolerance for activity
  • Helps you return to living a full and busy life once more

If I have a tear in my rotator cuff tendon, is surgery the only option?

Tears of the rotator cuff are very common and are a normal part of the ageing process. Most rotator cuff tears do not cause any pain or problem.

The rotator cuff tendons are all connected to create a large broad flat structure around the top of your arm bone, rather like a blanket. So when one tendon is torn, you can picture it like a hole in this blanket. A hole in a blanket doesn’t mean a blanket becomes useless, and this is the same for a tear in your rotator cuff.

Exercises strengthen the rest of the blanket to compensate for this ‘hole’ and are very safe to do. Exercise will reduce your pain and fear as well as improve your function.

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