Bangkok Physiotherapy Center | Therapy for Shoulder Pain

Bangkok Physiotherapy Center | Therapy for Shoulder Pain

What is shoulder pain?

Your shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm bone (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle).

The head of your upper arm bone fits into a rounded socket in your shoulder blade. This socket is called the glenoid. A combination of muscles and tendons keeps your arm bone centered in your shoulder socket. These tissues are called the rotator cuff. They cover the head of your upper arm bone and attach it to your shoulder blade. The muscles and tendons in the shoulder can develop shoulder pain that requires treatment and physical therapy to relieve you of pain and restore your range of motion.

Shoulder pain needing treatment and physiotherapy is categorized as inflammation (a reaction to an injury), damage to the muscles or tendons, tension around the neck and shoulder, or damage to the bones and cartilage. This pain can come either directly from the shoulder or indirectly from the neck. If you do experience shoulder pain needing therapy, it’s not always possible to determine the exact cause. Sometimes problems in other parts of the body are actually the source of the pain, which then radiates to your shoulder.

Strengthening your arm, neck and shoulder muscles, and using good body mechanics are great ways to ensure your shoulder stays strong. But if you do develop a shoulder problem, a visit to BPC at our shoulder center in Bangkok for shoulder pain and frozen shoulder treatment and physiotherapy will allow you to recover quickly and completely.

Common causes of shoulder pain that require treatment by a physio could be:
Job Related
Sudden Tugs
Heavy Lifting
Contact Sports
High Impact
Overhead Motions

Causes in your everyday life:

  • Overhead motions – throwing, hitting or lifting an object overhead could be a cause for all sorts of shoulder pain. This also includes sports with constant overhead movement like tennis, badminton, volleyball or golf.
  • Contact sports – football, hockey or basketball are all contact sports that could result in your bone and muscles getting hit, leading to shoulder injury and pain.
  • Heavy lifting – weight lifting, carrying heavy boxes or other objects, or attempting to move heavy objects, could all be a cause for shoulder pain.
  • Age – with age, your chances of having soft tissue lesions are very high, which can subsequently lead to various causes of shoulder pain.
  • Job related – painters, carpenters, surgical doctors are all susceptible to shoulder injuries as their daily life requires constant rotation and overhead movement of the shoulder.
  • Falls – falling down the stairs, twisting your ankle and falling to one side onto your shoulder are frequent causes of shoulder injury and pain.
  • Sudden tugs – rowing and cable skiing are good examples of activities that can often lead to shoulder injuries due to sudden tugs on the arm.

Scientific reasons for the pain:

  • Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) – A frozen shoulder needing treatment occurs when the tissue around your shoulder joint becomes inflamed. Abnormal bands of tissue (adhesions) build up in the joint, which leads to stiffness, pain and difficulty of movement in your shoulder joint. This is broken down into 4 main stages:
    • Stage 1 – Typically lasts for up to 3-4 months from the onset of symptoms. In stage 1, your shoulder is painful and this pain limits your shoulder movement.
    • Stage 2 – The “Freezing Stage”, which typically occurs during months 4-9. In stage 2, your shoulder continues to be painful and begins to stiffen.
    • Stage 3 – The “Frozen Stage”, which typically occurs during months 10-14, your shoulder is stiff, but is no longer painful at rest. The shoulder capsule is scarred, thickened and tighter than normal.
    • Stage 4 – The “Thawing Stage”, which typically occurs 15-24 months into the condition. Your shoulder motion gradually returns, and the function of your shoulder steadily improves.
  • Rotator Cuff Tear – the group of muscles and tendons that surround the shoulder joint start to fray. As the damage progresses, the tendon can tear completely, sometimes while lifting a heavy object. There are two types of tears:
    • Partial Tear – this is also known as an incomplete tear which damages the tendon, but does not completely sever it
    • Full-thickness tear – a complete tear where it separates all of the tendon from the bone. With this tear, there is now a separation of the tendon.
  • Separated Shoulder – an injury to the ligaments that hold your collarbone (clavicle) to your shoulder blade, also known as the acromioclavicular (AC) joint. A fall, or hard blow, tears the ligaments holding the AC joint together. In the case of a slightly separated shoulder, the ligaments might only be stretched. In severe injuries, ligaments might be torn.
  • Shoulder Labrum Tear – the shallow, socket-like opening of the shoulder where the labrum is located is called the glenoid. Shoulder labrum tears can happen anywhere around the glenoid socket. There are two main types of tears:
    • SLAP tear or lesion – when the tear is above the middle of the glenoid, it’s called SLAP, short for “Superior Labrum, Anterior to Posterior” which means front to back. This tear could start with damage to the bicep tendons.
    • Bankart tear or lesion – when the damage is to the lower half of the glenoid socket.
  • Dislocated Shoulder – when the head of the humerus is detached from the shoulder joint, generally occurring as a result of a fall or the shoulder being pulled back too far. An easy way to understand a dislocated shoulder is to think of it as your upper arm bone popping out of the socket that is part of your shoulder blade.
  • Shoulder Fracture – when your bone breaks or cracks when falling or otherwise taking a hard hit. Common breaks are to the clavicle (collarbone) and the humerus (the arm bone that connects to the shoulder)

BPC’s 4 step process was established by our team of expert physiotherapists to best guide you through a successful recovery while empowering patients to take charge of their health through our personalized exercise program.

Road To Recovery

The first step in recovering is to take away instant pain. We will use our state of the art machines including ultra sound, laser and shockwave machines to take away your discomfort and pain that your muscles are experiencing. This will then allow your body the ability to relax, to be able to get back to its full function.

RELAX Muscle

Using manual therapy, our therapists will use their ‘hands on’ clinical massage to loosen and improve the mobility of the joints, soft tissues and nerves. This will unbind your tense muscles and eventually provide the mobility leading to increased range of motion.

RANGE Increase

Once your muscles are loosened, our therapists will work on increasing your range of motion which will allow the no longer painful joint or muscle to extend closer to its full range. Doing this with our therapists involves moving in the correct direction, speed and technique to prevent any further complications. While you get stronger, it will lead to our recovery phase of exercising.


To complete the process, we will work on the correct form technique, and exercises with you to make sure that your pains and complications do not return, so that you can live a healthier and happier life, physically and mentally, spending more time with your loved ones.

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