Helen Land is a Clinical Educator in Physiotherapy at JCU who has a special interest in shoulder pain, or “shoulder impingement”.
“With a shoulder impingement, the pain is localised to the affected shoulder and frequently occurs for no apparent reason,” Ms Land said.
“We are assessing people experiencing shoulder impingement symptoms and looking to establish if they have any of the suggested contributing factors such as rotator cuff weakness, shoulder blade muscle imbalance or shoulder joint stiffness.”
Symptoms are sharp, catching shoulder pain, particularly when raising the arm, which eases when lowering the arm. People may find it difficult to wash their hair or reach into an overhead cupboard or put a shirt. It may be painful to lie directly on that shoulder at night.
Ms Land said shoulder impingement commonly occurred between the ages of 40 and 60 and several factors that appeared to contribute to the onset of the condition.
“Your shoulder is a ball and socket joint with the ball being the top of your upper arm, or humerus, and the socket being the edge of your shoulder blade.
“The shoulder blade also extends over the top of the humerus – this section is called the acromion. Impingement occurs when the space formed between the top of the humerus and the acromion, or subacromial space, is compromised,” she said.
“Changes in the size of this space occurs can occur slowly over time and may be related to repeated work overhead or when working with your arms extended away from the body.”
Ms Land is keen to recruit as many people as possible with this condition who are aged between 40 and 60. Anyone who has previously broken or dislocated the painful shoulder or had injections or surgery to the shoulder is not eligible.
Volunteers will attend the JCU Physiotherapy Clinic for one session lasting about an hour, and exercise advice will be provided to participants with the condition. For information or appointments, contact the JCU Physiotherapy clinic on (07) 4781 5840.
For media interviews/photos, contact Ms Land on (07) 4781 5840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175.