Why Does My Shoulder Hurt ?

Continuing on the same theme of “pain” from my last post, I felt it timely to highlight an excellent review on pain and the shoulder published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine from December 2013 (Dean, B; Gwilym, S and Carr,A: Br J Sports Med 2013;47:1095-1104)

As a Sports Physiotherapist treating shoulder injuries, one of the most common questions I am asked is “why does my shoulder hurt?”. The patient, in most cases, is hoping for a simple answer with a simple model of tissue damage = pain ; with the belief that correction of “what is broken will fix the pain”. Unfortunately research increasingly shows us that such a simplistic approach is… well-honestly- considerably too simplistic. I strongly urge the clinician with an interest in the sporting shoulder to read this excellent review which considers the role of 1) peripheral receptors, 2) nociception or peripheral pain processing , 3) the spinal cord , 4) the brain , 5) the location of receptors in the shoulder and 6) the neural anatomy of the shoulder. It is only when considering the complex nature of shoulder pain can one truly consider appropriately the variability in the clinical presentation, treatment and diagnosis of shoulder pain. For those of you interested in reading a guest post on this subject from one of the articles authors, this link from British based Sports Physiotherapist Adam Meakins makes excellent reading.


Australian Baseball- Major League History

752676-b6bfe078-b0ef-11e3-9d7e-f018f46e0213Its taken me a little while to sit back, reflect and bring words to life regarding my experience during the historical events surrounding the Australian Baseball Team in Sydney, March 2014. Without doubt, an absolute highlight of my professional career was my involvement as part of the Australian team playing warm up games against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks prior to the 2014 MLB Season Launch in Sydney this March. The feelings and emotions evoked as we competed (close 4-2 loss to The Dodgers and the amazing 5-0 win against the Diamondbacks) at the Sydney Cricket Ground in our own country, in front of our home fans, our change rooms the historical Australian Cricket Team dressing room, was simply, at times, overwhelming. The closest I can come to compare is our run at The Athens 2004 Olympics (another event I was privileged to be part of), winning the silver medal. Standing on the SCG, reflecting on the enormity of an Australian Team competing with, and defeating some of the most resource rich teams in our sport, I couldn’t help think how far my journey in the sport as a physiotherapist has taken me. Commencing in 1991 with the Gold Coast Dolphins (Part of the “old” ABL), I have been very privileged, through work with national league teams, representative, MLBAAP Australian Academy and Australian National teams to work with not only the “best of the best”, but also many amazing people who have made my journey richer for their contribution. An amazing compilation video of Australian’s who have achieved success at the Major League Level never fails to bring a tightness to my chest, and the proud feeling that I have been involved with almost all (in some capacity) except 2 of the athletes. Watch it- I dare you not to be just a little bit proud of what Australians have achieved in baseball!

The Throwing Athlete


I was very fortunate to co-present the pre-conference throwing athlete workshop with internationally acclaimed Specialist Sports Physiotherapist, Mr Rod Whiteley, at the Australian Physiotherapy Association “New Moves” National Conference in Melbourne during October 2013.
For those who are interested in understanding the Throwing Athlete, and didn’t manage to catch our workshop here is a link to Rod’s talk at the 2nd Aspetar Current Concepts Conference dedicated to Physiotherapy and Throwing Elbow Injury in 2011