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A New Treatment Program for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is one of the most common things we see at Central Performance.

Often clients come in saying that they’ve tried just resting from things which make their shoulder sore, like stopping playing tennis for a while or leaving shoulder exercises out of their gym workout, but then as soon as they return to their normal activity the pain comes straight back. And this pattern is common in non-exercise related shoulder pain too, like just from using the mouse a lot or doing DIY or gardening. If this sounds like you, then the Central Performance Shoulder Program can probably help you.

Scapular stabilityThe reason your shoulder pain often comes back when you start doing things again is because most shoulder problems come from imbalance not just within the shoulder itself, but also in the surrounding areas like the mid-upper back, shoulder blade stabiliser muscles & the balance between the chest muscles & the back of the shoulder. Posture plays a huge role as well, because being round-shouldered significantly changes the mechanics of your shoulder joint & greatly increases your risk of common problems such as rotator cuff tendon impingement. This is where some of the main tendons in your shoulder get pinched & this causes rotator cuff tendoninopathy (a form of tendon damage) & can eventually lead to tears.

Basically, if you just rest from painful activity your pain may settle because you stop pinching or over-loading shoulder structures, but these imbalances continue so as soon as you go back to your normal activity again your pain comes back as strong as ever. This is where the Shoulder Program can really make a difference for you.

The Central Performance Shoulder Program

The Shoulder Program is a unique 6-stage program which has been specifically designed to;

1. Effectively treat shoulder pain

2. Prevent future problems

3. Enhance sports performance

It is equally effective for sports-related problems as well lifestyle-related shoulder pain (e.g. pain when using a mouse, carrying bags, doing DIY or pain that doesn’t seem to have had a specific cause). The latest research on shoulder screening, injury prediction tests, return-to-sport markers & functional integration with whole-body movement has been extensively used in it’s design. You can also clearly track your progress as you reach performance criteria for progression through each of the 6 stages, & video feedback is used regularly to help your rehab & exercise performance.

The Unique Six-Stage Program Structure

The program’s structure means that underlying imbalances & movement faults that are causing your pain are systematically identified & corrected.  This delivers a durable recovery plus builds a solid foundation for improved sports performance. You will progress at your own optimum pace according to your injury history, initial screening results & performance goals. The 6 stages are;

1. restore full shoulder & thoracic (mid-back) range of motion

2. build neuromuscular control for a stable base in inner range movement

3. build scapular (shoulder blade) muscle strength & endurance; incorporate rotator cuff strength

4. functional strengthening including sport-specific movements

5. returning to sport

6. prevention of re-injury & increasing performanceUpper Limb Y Balance

The program has been specifically structured to enhance your understanding & help you see your progress.  Your improvements are also highlighted in your pre-, mid- & post-program screens that include highly validated measures such as FMS & Y-balance testing, strength ratios, DASH questionnaire, single-leg stability tests & relevant sport-specific measures. This screening also allows for future research.

Management of Lifestyle Shoulder Problems

Stages 1-3 of the program ensure that lifestyle-driven shoulder problems are treated effectively & thoroughly to reduce the risk of future problems. Factors such as the role of posture, the movement mechanics required for everyday activities & the your functional ability to play social sports are assessed & corrected.  Helping you really understand & correct these factors  is emphasised because they are often responsible for ongoing shoulder problems.

The Shoulder Program for Athletes

The program bridges the gap between rehab & enhanced sports performance. By incorporating whole-body screens such as FMS the influence of trunk stability & whole-body mechanics on shoulder function is identified. Stages 4-6 of the program use these results to integrate advanced shoulder strengthening with whole-body sport-specific retraining. This has the double benefit of resolving your pain & also can significantly improve your sports performance.

Is the Shoulder Program Right for Me?

The program is ideal for you if;

• you currently have shoulder pain

• you have had to stop or modify your sport, exercise or normal activity because you think that your previous shoulder pain will recur

• you know that whenever you do a certain type of exercise or activity your shoulder gets sore or “niggly” for a while

• you have persisting or recurrent pain that seems to come & go for no specific reason

• you want to improve your performance in sports that rely on shoulder or arm strength  & control e.g. tennis, squash, cricket, swimming, Crossfit, gym training, & throwing or pitching in baseball or softball

Clients who have already completed the program have been able to return to increased levels of recreational & elite sport without pain or re-injury. We also receive referrals directly from orthopaedic surgeons & sports physicians to the Shoulder Program, especially for more chronic problems & also post-surgery.


For more information visit our Shoulder Program page, or to book an appointment call us on +61 2 9280 2322 or email us.


Kieran Doyle, APA Senior Physiotherapist at Central Physio & Performance Fitness

Kieran Doyle, APAM SPAM

The Shoulder Program is managed & delivered by Kieran, our Senior Physiotherapist. He has Masters qualifications plus extensive clinical expertise & post-qualification training in shoulder management. His experience includes working with athletes, particularly overhead athletes, as well as the general population. He also holds a degree in Exercise & Sports Science which enhances his exercise prescription skills from rehab right through to high-performance levels.



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