Shoulder and Neck Injuries

Nicole Fournier, BHKin, MSc (PT), CAFCI, Physiotherapist, discusses shoulder and neck injuries and pain.

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Nicole Fournier, BHKin, MSc (PT), CAFCI, Physiotherapist, discusses shoulder and neck injuries and pain.
Video transcript

Featuring Nicole Fournier, BHKin, MSc (PT), CAFCI
Marpole Physiotherapy Clinic

Duration: 3 minutes, 9 seconds

Shoulder and neck injuries can be caused by many different things, such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, repetitive strain or postural strain, so working on the computer for long periods of time, as well as any kind of sports injuries.

Shoulder and neck injuries can present with common signs and symptoms such as pain in the shoulder and neck range as well as decreased range of motion in the neck or the shoulder as well as pins and needles and numbness down the arm; this pain can radiate down the arm.

So it's very important for your physiotherapist to decipher whether or not the pain is initially coming from the neck or from the shoulder itself. Your physiotherapist can do an in-depth assessment of what's happening at your neck and shoulder area to determine where exactly the pathology is coming from.

It can be coming from many places such as a whiplash injury in the neck, rotator cuff tear or impingement, frozen shoulder, a nerve impingement and many other pathologies for your physiotherapist to determine.

When your physiotherapist is assessing the pathology in your neck or shoulder they'll look at your active range of motion as well as your passive range of motion. They've got a list of special tests that they can do to rule out certain muscles and certain joints.

An example, during an assessment the physiotherapist will make sure to test your pelvis and low back to ensure that there isn't any strain or biomechanical breakdown coming from this area that's causing the pain in your shoulder and neck.

Your physiotherapist will use many different therapies to help with restoring normal pain, decreased pain levels, and normal range of motion in the area. They'll use therapies such as manual therapy, so hands-on techniques, other therapies such as acupuncture or IMS as well as soft tissue release and muscle energy techniques might be used by your physiotherapist.

If you are scheduled for shoulder surgery it's important that you visit your physiotherapist beforehand so that they can give you advice on what you need to be doing for yourself to prepare yourself for the surgery, and any kind of strengthening exercises you can do pre-op.

They can also give you advice on how soon after the surgery you need to visit your physiotherapist for rehabilitation. It's important to see your physiotherapists quite soon after the injury; the physiotherapist can work with you in the acute phase to decrease the pain levels as well as working with your doctor to ensure that all investigations are being done that is necessary for the rehabilitation.

Once your physiotherapist is able to decrease your pain level and increase your range of motion they'll develop individual specific rehabilitation programs, so re-strengthening so that you can return to the activities that you'd like to return to.

You might visit a physiotherapist for information on what is, conditions, side effects, symptoms and treatments related to treatment of Repetitive Use Injuries (RUIs), intramuscular stimulation, and home rehabilitation exercises.

Presenter: Ms. Nicole Fournier, Physiotherapist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Physiotherapist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.