Shoulder Problems

Shoulder pain is a common problem with a number of different causes. In some cases, pain in the shoulder isn't caused by a problem in the shoulder joint, but by a problem in another area, such as the neck, that is felt in the shoulder and upper back.


There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing shoulder pain, which include:

  • poor posture

  • frozen shoulder – a painful condition that reduces normal movement in the joint and can sometimes prevent movement in the shoulder altogether

  • rotator cuff disorders – the rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint and help to keep it stable

  • shoulder instability – where the shoulder is unstable and may have an unusually large range of movement (hypermobility

  • a broken (fractured) bone, such as a fracture of the humerus (upper arm bone) or broken collarbone


What can go wrong with the shoulder after stroke?

•Abnormal tone/spasticity
•Other neurological deficits
–Sensation, proprioception, co-ordination
•Soft tissue injury
•Brachial Plexus or peripheral nerve injury
•Shoulder-hand syndrome
•Pain related to the area of the lesion


Shoulder subluxation is a common occurrence after stroke and can be due to muscle weakness or spasticity. It is characterized by the upper arm bone (humerus) dropping out of the shoulder socket. The muscles may be too weak to hold the arm bone securely into the shoulder socket or spasticity can cause subluxation by pulling the bone into an abnormal position. Both muscle weakness and spasticity can cause the shoulder blade (scapula) to be abnormally positioned as well.

Weakness on one side of your body is one of the most common effects of stroke.



Adequate support and protection of the hemiplegic arm are essential at all times–Pillows to support shoulder and maintain alignment–Elevation to prevent oedema–Positions that avoid patterns of spasticity


The affected arm must never be pulled or used as a lever to aid transfers.

A detailed assessment can help to identify the cause of your shoulder problems and enable us to plan a treatment, stretching and strengthening plan. This will assist in creating strength, agility and mobility whilst speeding up recovery times. Our Neuromuscular Exercise Group Therapy can also help improve movement and maximase fitness and strength.


Assessment and Treatment can be carried out either at our clinic in Rotherham or in your own home. Our Physiotherapists and Rehabilitation Technicians are trained in specialised hands on treatment techniques and approaches, specific to the treatment of Neurological and Musculoskeletal conditions.