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Painful neck, shoulders and arms PDF Print E-mail

– is the term used to describe a neck injury caused by a sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sideways. It causes pain, stiffness and loss of movement in the neck. Headaches, muscle spasms and pain in the shoulders or arms are other possible symptoms. The sudden vigorous movement of the head damages ligaments and tendons in the neck. Whiplash is common after motor vehicle accidents in which a collision has jolted the head violently. It can also be the result of a violent blow to the head (for example, during contact sports such as boxing or rugby).

Frozen Shoulder

The shoulder joint is where the upper arm bone (Humerus) joins the shoulder blade and collar bone. The shoulder is a very mobile joint which relies on control from the muscles and ligaments for stability. The shoulder joint capsule (Connective tissue surrounding the shoulder joint) is normally a loose structure allowing a large range of movement in the shoulder joint. With a frozen shoulder the capsule becomes inflamed and stiff. Muscles become very tight and can feel as if they are going into spasm.

If you have diabetes or a history of a stroke, lung disease, overactive thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis or heart problems then you are at a higher risk of developing frozen shoulder. The condition can also develop following surgery (not only to the shoulder) or a fall, or  injury to the shoulder. In the general population 2-5% of people will have a frozen shoulder during their lifetime, but amongst people with diabetes that rises to 10-20%. It is even higher in insulin-dependant diabetes at 36%.

Acupressure treatment for frozen shoulder is based on trigger point therapy. A trigger point is a tender area in muscle which can be felt as a nodule in tight bands of muscle fibres. Compression of a trigger point can cause local tenderness or pain in a more distant area, e.g. compressing a trigger point in the shoulder area may be felt as pain in the elbow. By releasing the trigger points your shoulder movement increases. It is important to keep your shoulder moving after injury or at the initial onset of pain. Unfortunately pain discourages movement. The treatment can help to encourage movement and prevent frozen shoulder from developing.

Home Treatment (Ensure that your shoulder  condition is a frozen shoulder by seeing your GP or Seitai practitioner before following this advice.

• Keep it moving – It is very important to keep using your shoulder within the limitations of the pain. Holding your shoulder in a protected position without moving only worsens the condition. Do not try to force your shoulder to move beyond the limitations of pain as you will aggravate your symptoms.
• Cold Packs – During the painful stages putting a cold pack on your shoulder may help to reduce pain and inflammation.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is a painful condition that often occurs as a result of strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm and around the elbow joint. As the name suggest, tennis elbow can sometimes be caused by playing tennis, but it can also occur as a result of a number of other physical activities.

The main symptom of tennis elbow is pain and inflammation on the outside of the elbow. Symptoms can also sometimes occur on the inner side of the elbow. This is often referred to as Golfers Elbow.

Tennis elbow occurs when one or more of your tendons in your elbow becomes inflamed. The pain occurs at the point where the tendons of your forearm muscle attach to the bone. If this area becomes inflamed, certain movements that use the forearm become painful, For example, twisting movements, such as turning a door handle, may be particularly painful.

Tennis elbow usually occurs in adults. Each year in the UK approximately 5 in 1000 adults area affected by tennis elbow.

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