A 51 Year old male gardener who had been diagnosed by a general practitioner with inflammation of the bursa (shoulder bursitis) presented with left shoulder pain that had been present for three weeks. Signs and symptoms were a general ache with periods of more sharp pain towards the outer end of his shoulder. Pain was aggravated when the client raised his arm overhead, using the affected arm at work or at home and also, at night when lying on the affected side.

On observation the client was quite hunched through his upper back, shoulders and neck and the affected arm appeared to sit slightly lower and more rounded than the non-affected side. He also showed decreased shoulder movement especially reaching overhead that aggravated his pain,

Anti-inflammatory medication was prescribed by a general practitioner in conjunction with this treatment and the aim from a Myotherapy perspective was to give the client advice on how to reduce aggravating factors and provide manual treatment to the area.

Manual therapy techniques were applied such as soft tissue massage to improve the muscular balance surrounding the client’s shoulder and neck. Dry needling was also used to help reduce pain coming from tight shoulder muscles and a home exercise program developed to help improve his shoulder posture. The exercises given for home were also able to decrease pressure of the bursa and rotator cuff muscles surrounding the shoulder joint and on seeing the client again, the pain was greatly reduced.

After 3 weeks of treatment the client was able to raise his arm without pain and was able to perform work related activities completely pain-free.

Mark Kelly – Elite Myotherapist