A patient recently came to me for physiotherapy to address an acute shoulder injury, on a background of chronic neck pain and shoulder tightness. As a hairdresser, his job involved standing and leaning for hours a day, with workdays often lasting around 10 hours.

He recounted that recently he had attempted to pick up a large load and experienced excruciating pain in his shoulder (in the rotator cuff area). It was so painful that he was unable to use him arm or sleep. Finally he knew he had to seek physiotherapy assistance.

The patient called me and I saw him as a matter of urgency. His physiotherapy treatment consisted of:

  • Massage, joint mobilisation and strapping to achieve immediate relief
  • Some easy stretches and strengthening exercises, which have now become a part of his daily routine. Some of the neck stretches prescribed to him were as follows:
    • Turning the head towards either the left or right shoulder, then tipping the chin down to point towards the shoulder. This is then repeated on the other side.
    • Pushing the chin towards the chest as far as it will go, in an effort to “give oneself a double chin.”
    • Using a stretchy rubber band to work the upper back muscles, developing greater strength in the muscles necessary to maintain good posture.
  • A supportive strap to ensure his shoulders are well pulled back and supported, rather than hunched and pulled forwards by the weight of the equipment.
  • I also helped him with a harness that provided added support, especially during long days in the hairdressing studio: The Think Tank Racing Harness was used in conjunction with the physio harness.
  • Lastly we visited his hairdressing station to ensure his workstation was adequate. Simple ergonomic adjustments were explained to him so he was able to adjust the chair for each client while ensuring maximum ergonomic safety for himself.

This typical case in physiotherapy is a demonstration that good posture is not just an exercise, but habit to be used every day.

It took a major episode of pain to get this patient sorted.

When it is your job, your life, your passion, taking positive action to empower yourself is imperative.

At Lindfield Physiotherapy Centre I am committed to helping all my clients be pain free, strong and happy in work and life.