Referred Shoulder Pain 

Referred shoulder pain is challenging and sometimes complex. Understanding the cause of your pain to gain best results is crucial. Referred shoulder pain is common and can be confusing as other areas (such as your neck or your spine) can produce pain in your shoulder region. Also your lungs, diaphragm, heart, liver or gallbladder. Therefore it is important to identify the cause of your shoulder pain in order to achieve the best results. In the below article we discuss frequently asked questions and how an London Osteopath at Wellthy Clinic would diagnose and treat your shoulder pain.   Table of Content

How Do I Know if my Shoulder Pain is Referred? 

If your pain is not reproduced with shoulder movements it is likely to be a referred pain. Generally referred pain is a constant pain that is not worse with specific movements. The nature of the pain is usually dull and achy as opposed to a shooting pain sensation. If your shoulder pain is present all the time (not intermittent) or if you have had for over one month then you should see a healthcare practitioner.   

How do you Investigate Shoulder Pain? 

At Wellthy Clinic our Osteopaths take a case history to establish a timeline, exclude red flags and help understand the cause of your shoulder pain. A postural assessment and physical examination will then be conducted with active shoulder, neck and back movements. After this your shoulder, neck and spine joint movements will be assessed passively. Active resisted muscle testing and orthopaedic testing could also be performed to diagnose your Osteopath for shoulder pain.

Is my Shoulder Pain Coming From my Neck?

If your pain is made worse with your neck (not your shoulder) movements than more than likely yes! However, this can be confusing as people with neck related shoulder pain can also experience muscular weakness into shoulder region. Pain that comes from your neck that travels to your shoulder is dull and achy generally it’s your cervical spine joints or ligaments. If the pain is shooting or feels like pins and needles into the upper arm and/or hand then it is likely to be a pinched nerve. Cervical spondylosis, spinal stenosis, cervical disc prolapses, ligament and muscle injuries are all possible differentials diagnosis. Therefore seeing an experienced practitioner who can understand the cause of your pains and treat either your shoulder, neck and spine or all of the above is all important.   

Osteopath for Referred Shoulder Pain

At Wellthy Clinic we find best results are achieved when we provide hands on treatment for the whole posture (not just your shoulder). Your Osteopath will treat using muscular stretching, joint articulations and manipulations (if appropriate techniques). They may also provide Cranial Osteopath techniques which is a more gentle treatment but very effective for shoulders. Pilates rehab exercises to increase your shoulder and upper back mobility and strength will be encouraged. Nutritionist advice maybe suggested to optimise your recovery as the shoulder especially for clients with diabetes nutritionist as there is a higher prevalence rate as insulin fluctuations greatly affect your shoulder’s tendons and ligaments.

If you are unsure if it its referred shoulder pain you can call into our London Osteopath Clinic in Marylebone.       

Other Conditions for Referred Shoulder Pain

What does Shoulder Pain from Gallbladder Feel Like? 

Typically you will experience a dull achy nagging referred right shoulder pain which is worse after consuming fatty foods. You may also experience intermittent bloating and abdominal pain. Your shoulder pain is unlikely to feel worse with actual shoulder movements.     

What Helps Shoulder Pain from Gallbladder?

Addressing the cause of your right pain right shoulder by reducing inflammation within your gallbladder. Investigate whether you have gall stones and if so what sizes. Speak to your GP as you may require a scan of your gallbladder. Either way changing your diet to reduce inflammation within your body by eliminating foods high in saturated fat like meat pies, sausages, fatty cuts of meat, butter, cream, cheese, cakes and biscuits is a good starting point. Having a well balanced diet that includes fruit and vegetables to give your body the right nutrients and optimise your absorption. Our Marylebone nutritionist at Wellthy Clinic will be able to advise you and produce a personalised nutritional plan for you to gain the best results.             

What does Shoulder Pain from Liver Feel Like? 

Usually it feels like a dull, throbbing sensation in your right shoulder and sometimes your spine. You may also experience pain in your right abdomen which can be like a stabbing sensation.

What are the First Signs of a Bad Liver? 

Initially feeling unwell and tired all the time. Loss of appetite, weight loss, muscular wasting, feeling sick and vomiting. Feel pain into your right abdomen region (above your liver). Poor sleep and blotchy red palms are signs of liver disease (cirrhosis). As the disease progresses there are numerous other symptoms including right shoulder pain. If you experience severe symptoms like shortness of breath, vomiting blood, have a fever with a high temperature, dark or black stools and feel confused you should see a doctor straight away (British Liver Trust). 

How do you Heal Your Liver? 

Addressing your hydration and nutrition by having a well balanced diet and drinking plenty of water. Initially eliminate alcohol, fizzy drinks, fatty animal proteins, refined sugars, processed foods and saturated fats for 6 weeks. Include lots of vegetables especially leafy green vegetables and broccoli. Drink green tea as it’s high in antioxidants. Eat foods high in omega 3 like fish, nuts and healthy oils (olive oil). Increase exercise but this depends how you are feeling. Speak to our Nutritionist to gain a personalised plan to help support your liver recovery to achieve the best results.    

What Foods are Good for Liver Repair?  

Vegetables especially leafy greens and broccoli, garlic, fish, nuts and healthy oils.

More Resources on Shoulder Pain & Osteopathy

Eleonora Sansoni

Eleonora Sansoni

Eleonora Sansoni is an Osteopath, Cranial Osteopath, Nutritional Therapist and a Pilates Instructor.

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