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Shoulder physiotherapy


Swimmers’ shoulder

Swimmer’s Shoulder, or painful arc/rotator cuff tendonitis (or tendinopathy), is a repetitive stress injurywhere tendons in the shoulder have been damaged. The body mechanics of the freestyle stroke can cause inflammation of the shoulder tendons during both the pull through and recovery phases of the stroke.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain is felt during the overhead motion of the freestyle stroke
  • Weakness at this point of the stroke is also an indication
  • Weakness may also indicate a tear in the tendon


Is a clinical syndrome which occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff muscles become irritated and inflamed as they pass through a space underneath the end of the collarbone and shoulder blade. This can result in pain, weakness and loss of movement at the shoulder.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain into the shoulder or arm with overhead activities

Instability (esp. in rugby)

Shoulder instability is a problem that occurs when the structures that surround the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint do not work to maintain the ball within its socket. If the joint is too loose, is may slide partially out of place, a condition called shoulder subluxation. If the joint comes completely out of place, this is called a shoulder dislocation.

Symptoms include:

  • Feeling of shoulder instability when the arm is put into certain movements

Rotator cuff tears

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles  (infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor, subscapularis) which are responsible for both movement and stability of the shoulder / arm complex. Rotator cuff tears are tears of one or more of these four tendons and can include any type of irritation or damage to the rotator cuff muscles or tendons. These can be caused by sudden injury or long-term degeneration.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain or weakness in the muscles supporting the arm and shoulder
  • Pain when lying on the affected side
  • Pain with overhead actions