Mr Hagen Jähnich, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, specialises in shoulder and elbow surgery. In this Q&A, he shares his valuable advice on how to alleviate symptoms relating to shoulder conditions, how to prevent injuries and when to seek help.
Q1. What are the most common causes of shoulder pain?
A. Common causes of shoulder pain are mainly relating to the various different age groups. In youngsters it is due to trauma and we get injuries to the collar bone or the shoulder joint itself. The older we get, the more likely they're relating to impingement type problems, and these are relating usually to the rotator cuff. This can be tears, or purely be impingement where the tendon catches against the tip of the shoulder. Or in really older patients we then see arthritis, which may be the consequence of a worn tendon that has completely failed and later arthritis, or simple wear and tear arthritis.
Q2. What is impingement?
A. You'll often be told by a physiotherapist that you have got impingement, but there can be quite a significant number of different causes for it. Classically, it's impinging of the rotator cuff underneath the tip of a shoulder, but any rotator cuff problem with rotator cuff tears, or calcium build up within the tendon, can also lead to the same symptoms, as does arthritis in the shoulder joint or frozen shoulder, but also sadly sinister problems like bone cancers that might have spread to the shoulder.
Q3. What shoulder procedures do you carry out at The Horder Centre?
A. Similar to the types of injuries we see and problems we see, we also cater for operations. They can range from simple keyhole operations, which might be therapeutic or reconstructive, right up to joint replacement surgery, and this can include specialist shoulder replacements as well.
Q4. How can I avoid shoulder injuries when playing sports?
A. The answer is simply to do your sport well technically and avoid, for instance in tennis, bad technique and bad shots. It is also important to warm up properly, stretch and avoid, particularly the older we get, prolonged overhead work. Also, I would say if you're over 40, I don't think HIIT classes are for us!
Q5. When should I see a shoulder surgeon?
A. Generally the majority of shoulder conditions can be dealt with by a physiotherapist initially, but if there is no response to treatment beyond a couple of months, then it's definitely justified to see a shoulder specialist, simply to make sure there's nothing sinister going on. But equally, if one has got an injury, then it is advisable to seek at least a specialist opinion early on to ensure that there is nothing missed that could be not corrected later on.
Book a consultation with The Horder Centre
If you are experiencing significant shoulder pain and want to discover the treatment options available to you, book a consultation with The Horder Centre. Our team is on hand to support you through the treatment process, from your initial consultation to any aftercare you may need.
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The Horder Centre is an award-winning Centre of Excellence that offers patients a unique therapeutic environment. Specifically designed for orthopaedic surgery, our facilities include a physiotherapy inpatient gym and courtyard gardens designed by clinical experts to enhance recovery. Finance options available.
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