Nick Smith's #CPD: The Shoulder: Complex doesn't mean Complicated

Physio Remedies’ Nick Smith recently attended the two day course “The Shoulder: Complex doesn’t mean Complicated” presented by Adam Meakins, (@adammeakins The Sports Physio). Here’s his course report:

The Shoulder: Complex doesn’t mean Complicated

The aim of the course was to simplify assessments, diagnosis and management of the commonly encountered shoulder problems. And true to its word it did exactly what it says on the tin.

The course was thought provoking, light hearted and yes with the odd profanity! The use of current evidence helped to dispel those long held and often wrong beliefs and myths.

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is the third most common complaint we treat as physiotherapists. From your non-specific aching, to the post traumatic and the sporting shoulder.

As a physiotherapist my role is to advise and educate patients (but not to over do it). 40-80% of all we say is forgotten immediately by most patients and
50% of what is remembered is often misinterpreted. We need to build a rapport with patients: Listen more and talk less – think, is this needed?

There are many causes of shoulder pain. The majority of patients we see in clinic present with overhead activities, racket sports and throwing/catching.

Shoulder Pain Assessment

Shoulder assessment doesn’t need to be complicated. Current research has identified over 200 “special tests” to diagnose shoulder pain. In practice you only need to use no more than 5! Following your assessment you will be given the correct strengthening and stability exercise(s) to help you return to pain free sport and activity.

Only 30% of patients are compliant with exercises given by their physiotherapist. So do ONE thing really, really well and not 12 exercises badly.

Nick’s Approach to Shoulder Pain

My approach to treatment and rehabilitation is:

  • Simplicity is the way to successful rehab. When rehab is fun, rehab gets done! And remember you can’t go wrong getting strong!
  • If you are struggling with shoulder pain, catching/clicking or that general ache, book in for an assessment.

Words and video by Nick Smith.

Sarah Lawson

Sarah had wanted to be a physiotherapist from the age of 15, and she realised her dream after qualifying in 1992. She went on to gain a postgraduate qualification in Sport Medicine in 1997, and later became the Outpatient and Sports Injury Manager at the Wellington Hospital. 

When she found herself spending more time on paperwork than patients (her clinic at the Wellington was owned by an American corporation), she went into private practice – first helping a small physio clinic get back on its feet, and then setting up Physio Remedies in 2005. 

Physio Remedies has come on a long way since its inception (which consisted of just Sarah on her own, in a converted broom cupboard at the Lansdowne Club): with top physios from around the country, state-of-the-art facilities, and relationships with renowned surgeons and sports organisations, it’s one of the most highly regarded physio practices in the country.