How are the shoulder and ankle linked?
We often treat individuals who can’t quite get back to their previous level of flexibility and movement…perhaps a niggling shoulder injury that won’t go away.
The role of the physiotherapist is similar to that of a detective. It is often not ideal simply to treat the area of pain, especially if the niggle has been around for some time.
Adaptation post injury
The amazing ability of the body to adapt post injury is both positive and negative. Natural adaptation enables individuals to return to activity, in some capacity, but due to new movement and muscle patterns, such as altered gait patterns, it can create pain and dysfunction in other parts of the body.
You may be interested in why your physiotherapist is so interested in the (arguably) innocuous ankle sprain sustained whilst walking the dog on a muddy day three months ago, when you made the appointment to sort out your shoulder which is preventing you from playing your weekly round of golf with your friends. Well here is the secret: post ankle sprain, your natural reaction is likely to shift your body weight away from your painful ankle. Over time, this adaptation can reduce your range of movement and change the muscles used during your walking. Back on the golf course, your reduced range of ankle movement becomes subtly apparent during your golf swing. The repetition of hitting the golf ball at a slightly different angle, whilst adapting over the ankle, means that your shoulder becomes aggravated, and over time prevents you from hitting the ball, or even lying on the affected side in bed.
Prior to your initial assessment, it is always helpful to come not just physically prepared, in shorts and a t-shirt, but also to be mentally prepared for an in-depth chat about your past and current medical history. All this information helps your physiotherapist build up a bigger picture of what structures are likely to have been affected and create a plan which aims to fix your pain for good.
We look forward to helping you with your physiotherapy needs, tailored to your personal circumstances. If you are interested in our services feel free to call us on 07309 272 555 or email Physio@Lifemadesimple.co.uk. Life Made Simple - expert physiotherapy in Guildford and Surrey.