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Shoulder Pain

The shoulder  

consists of three different joints:

  • Gleno-Humeral (arm & shoulder blade - ball & socket joint)

  • Scapula-Thoracic (shoulder blade & rib cage)

  • Acromio-Clavicular (collarbone & shoulder blade)

The complex structure of the shoulder joint and associated muscle groups, requires significant strength and mobility to participate in many sports and activities. However, this also renders the shoulder susceptible to pain and injury. Shoulder injuries are common in sports that sustain repetitive upper limb impact, such as tennis, swimming, throwing sports, golf and gymnastics. Shoulder pain is also common in people that require upper-body movements for work (e.g trades).


Common symptoms:

  • Generalised shoulder pain/ache

  • Pain down the arm

  • Tightness/stiffness

  • Sharp pain with certain movements e.g reaching for object

  • Pain when lying on side

Your Physio will complete a detailed assessment to ascertain the cause of your shoulder pain. They will also will address any contributing factors, to reduce any risk of your pain returning. Our team will then design an individualised treatment plan for you which may include a rehabilitation/exercise program and treatment methods such as soft tissue therapy, stretching, dry needling and mobilisation. All rehabilitation programs are very flexible to suits your goals, needs and budget. See our membership models for some of the options. Rehabilitation can also be completed by you independently at home, if this is preferred.


Common causes of shoulder pain

  • ​Rotator Cuff Tear/tightness (see picture for pain referral patterns)

  • Rotator Cuff Tendinopathy

  • Subacromial Shoulder Bursitis

  • Labral tear

  • Bankart Lesion

  • Bicep Tendinopathy

  • Dislocated Shoulder

  • AC Joint Injury or Dysfunction

  • Multidirectional Instability

  • Frozen Shoulder / Adhesive Capsulitis

  • Brachial Plexus Injuries

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

It is also common to have shoulder/arm pain referred from your neck

Steps to take

1. Gain understanding as to what structure is involved and what the contributing factors are

2. Exercise your shoulders regularly

Appropriate exercise and stretching can increase strength, flexibility & function to an injured shoulder which will help both in the short and long term

3. Beneficial exercises for most shoulder issues (do not complete these if you have discomfort during)

  • Seated/Standing/Bent Over Row

  • Internal and/or External Shoulder Rotation

  • Book Opener Stretch

See our Your Tube Channel for exercise demonstrations:


 How do you book an appointment? 

Call us on 

03 5278 1121

Visit us

30 Bellerine St, Geelong OR

Shop 6, 57 Thompson Road 


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