Suffering from shoulder pain? We can help you find the answers

Meet Circle Bath’s shoulder experts at our FREE wellbeing event on 30 April

Please book your free place at bath.events@circlehealth.co.uk or call 01761 422288. Places are limited.

The shoulder is a complex joint and there are many aspects which can go wrong with it resulting in varying degrees of pain and loss of movement. It’s critical to identify the source of the pain correctly.

Mr Gavin Jennings, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Circle Bath Hospital, is encouraging people to consider their posture and coordination of movement when exercising to protect their shoulder joints.

Mr Gavin Jennings said: “There are, however, a few very common issues that occur. The most common of these by far are problems with the deep tendons, such as the rotator cuff tendons, which surround the shoulder. Other common problems affect the ball and socket joint itself such as frozen shoulder which affects the surrounding lining of the joint. Arthritis, as in other joints, affects the joint surfaces. These problems can look and sound the same. The skill of the surgeon is in working out which problem any individual has so that a treatment plan, which is likely to work for them, can be agreed.”

There is a limit to what shoulder specialists can do to prevent these joint problems. For the most common issues, such as tendon complications, there are many preventative measures we can take to reduce the risks of developing further problems.

Not only is the shoulder a complex joint but it interacts with many other parts of the body. Good shoulder health relies on good posture and is dependent on mobility, strength and positioning of the spine, pelvis and hips. Shoulder health is also very dependent upon the correct and coordinated movement of the shoulder blade. To maintain good shoulder health, we need to focus not only on exercises of the shoulder, but also on shoulder blade movement and other distant, but functionally related joints.

Mr Gavin Jennings, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, explains: “As a shoulder specialist, not surprisingly, I deal less with the prevention of and more with the diagnosis and cure of shoulder problems. Initially, diagnosing the problem correctly is the priority.”

A shoulder specialist will usually be able to achieve this goal merely by listening to the patient and asking pertinent questions. Physical examination of the patient will usually then confirm the diagnosis.

The aim is always to plan the treatment so that the patient gets back what they want for their individual lifestyle in a way which is least painful for them.

Mr Gavin Jennings said: “Treatment can often be instigated straight away. In some instances, we may need some more information and this can be gleaned by performing investigations. Traditionally this may have involved going for an x-ray or going away to have a scan performed. Fortunately, new technology has added greatly to our ability to diagnose problems immediately. We can now look directly into the shoulder joint using a miniaturised arthroscope (joint camera), known as Mi-Eye2, at the first clinic appointment. As the camera is small, we can put this into the joint fairly painlessly, just using some local anaesthetic. The patient can then see live video of the inside of their own joint as the surgeon describes what they are seeing.

The appropriate treatment will very much depend on the problem, but frequently, may not involve any kind of operation. Although surgery is often incredibly successful, not everyone wants an operation. For many people, an injection and physiotherapy will remedy the problem in six to eight months. Non-surgical treatment may be an approach which an individual will favour.”

If an operation is recommended by the surgeon, treatment can often be performed through a keyhole approach. This can be used to treat the tendon problems as mentioned above as well as other problems such as frozen shoulder. In the case of arthritis, a spectrum of treatment strategies can be used from physiotherapy right up to joint replacement surgery.

Unfortunately performing the wrong exercises or performing the right exercises wrongly, can result in making your shoulder problem worse.

It can often be helpful to seek advice from an expert such as a physiotherapist, sports therapist, osteopath or chiropractor to ensure you are coordinating your movement correctly.

Shoulder replacements are becoming more and more common and the designs of these replacements are advancing all the time. Last year over 5,500 replacements* were performed in the UK and we are now regularly using computer navigation in complex cases.

In summary, shoulder problems are very common, but some can be prevented. If a problem does occur, however, there are many highly successful treatments available.

*http://www.njrcentre.org.uk/njrcentre/Healthcare-providers/Accessing-the-data/StatsOnline/NJR-StatsOnline

Event details:

Do you have pain in your shoulder?

Date: Tuesday 30th April 2019

Time: 19.00 to 20.30

Venue: Circle Bath Hospital, main atrium

Consultant: Mr Gavin Jennings, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Senior physiotherapist: Darren James

Cost: Free of charge

The event is open to the general public but places are limited so please book ahead. The event is designed for individuals:

  • wishing to understand the underlying causes of their shoulder pain
  • looking for conservative treatments to reduce shoulder pain
  • looking for insights into the latest advances in shoulder surgery
  • requiring further treatment following diagnostic investigations
  • wishing to understand the diagnosis of their shoulder pain.

The Shoulder Unit refers to the collaborative team approach at Circle whether it’s the surgeons who specialise in shoulder surgery or the physiotherapists who are highly skilled in dealing with shoulder problems. Circle Bath’s Shoulder Unit is recognised as a centre of excellence.

Specialist shoulder surgeons in the specialist Shoulder Unit:

Mr Gavin Jennings, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Simon Gregg-Smith, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Mr Andrew Chambler, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon

Please confirm your place at bath.events@circlehealth.co.uk or call 01761 422288.

Places are limited.

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