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Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most commonly reported musculoskeletal problems. It can occur in any of us but is common in those whose occupation involves repetitive physical movements such as cashiers, builders, plasterers, hairdressers and many more.

The physiotherapists at Liverpool Physio are experts at diagnosing and treating many types of shoulder pain.

What causes shoulder pain?

There are a number of causes behind shoulder pain. Structures both in and around the shoulder and within the upper body can cause shoulder pain.

Broadly speaking it is possible to categorise these specific areas into a number of groups which include muscular, ligamentous, mechanical, degenerative, neurological, pathological and traumatic. There is usually a form of overlap between these categories as the shoulder is such a complex joint meaning that being diagnosed by an expert physiotherapist is of upmost importance to ensure the correct treatment is prescribed.

Shoulder pain has many different specific causes, some of which originate from the shoulder complex itself (intrinsic) and some which are referred from elsewhere (extrinsic).

Assesing a patients range of movement within the jointAbove: Assesing a patients range of movement within the joint

Intrinsic causes include: Extrinsic causes include:
  • Pain referred from the cervical spine
  • Pain referred from the diaphragm
  • Cancer (e.g. cancer of the apical lung)

What should I do if I have shoulder pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain it is extremely beneficial to seek specialist help as quickly as possible to promote fast recovery and prevent the pain from becoming chronic.

The shoulder is a complex joint which relies very heavily on effective muscular activation in order to function efficiently and without pain. Our physiotherapists understand not only the physically complexity of the shoulder but also the huge impact pain or reduced function of the joint can have on your work and leisure activities. Seeking help from our physiotherapists ensures that you can return to these activities pain free as fast as possible.

What would a physiotherapy assessment for shoulder pain involve?

Our physiotherapists will always ensure that your initial assessment is comprehensive by taking a subjective and objective assessment. This means that we are able to confidently diagnose the problem and explain this to you in terms you understand and also provide you with a prognosis and time scale for recovery.
  • The subjective assessment is where you have the opportunity to discuss with your physiotherapist your pain levels, symptoms and how they are affecting your day to day functioning.

  • The objective assessment will look at your posture, shoulder range of movement, muscle strength, sensation and reflexes. Joints adjacent to the shoulder such as the cervical spine and elbow will be assessed to dismiss the possibility of pain being referred from elsewhere.

What would physiotherapy treatment for shoulder pain involve?

Physiotherapy treatment is dependent upon the outcome of both the subjective and objective assessments. Your physiotherapist will devise a treatment plan specific to your own personal circumstances and goals in order to promote a swift recovery.

Treatment will begin immediately where appropriate and may include a combination of the following: The aim of a treatment plan for shoulder pain is to decrease pain, increase range of movement, increase shoulder stability and promote a speedy return to sports and other activities.

Our priority is to ensure that you return to the level of functioning experienced prior to the onset of your pain as rapidly as possible.

How can I arrange a physiotherapy assessment for shoulder pain?

If you are experiencing shoulder pain, loss of strength or decreased range of movement you will benefit from being assessed by one of our specialist physiotherapists. To arrange an appointment please email us at or call on 0151 558 0077.


Shoulder pain can have many causes; one common cause is due to repetitive movement as a result of your lifestyle and occupation. Pain can originate from with the shoulder joint or be referred as a symptom from pathology elsewhere in the body. The physiotherapy subjective and objective assessment is important in identifying a diagnosis for a treatment plan to be made and a realistic time scale for recovery to be given. Physiotherapy treatment may include shoulder exercises, mobilisations, massage and pain management techniques.

To book a musculoskeletal physiotherapy assessment for your shoulder pain call 0151 558 0077 or alternatively you can e-mail

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Phone: 0151 558 0077
0151 558 0077
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, Speke L24 8QD
David Lloyd, 6 The Aerodrome Speke, Liverpool, L24 8QD  [map]
33a Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9EH
33a Rodney Street, Liverpool, L1 9EH  [map]
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