Want to know more about shoulder complaints? 

Yearly approximately 31% of the population has shoulder complaints, of which 60% is female. Limiting factors for recovery are overloading (overhead work), additional neck complaints, stress and an inactive lifestyle.

Shouldercomplaints; What could be the problem?

In most cases acute or chronical overload of tissue structures is the cause of the complaints. This could be tendons, bursas, shoulder capsule or adjacent joints. Neck complaints can also cause shoulder complaints. 80% of complaints concern bursas and shoulder tendons.


Physical examination gives us an impression of the type of shoulder problem we are dealing with. It is not easy to determine whether it is a bursa problem, an inflamed tendon or a tear in the tendon. This is why there are examination and treatment protocols. This is a division by type of shoulder complaint.

  1. A limitation of movement of the shoulder in a external rotating direction.

    pijnlijke-rotatie-frozen shoulder-schouder

    painful outward rotation

    Even if the patient relaxes, the doctor or therapist is not able to rotate further: the movement is restricted by pain and stiffness. This could possibly be an inflammation of the shouldercapsule, but also osteoarthritis (wearing) of the shoulder joint could be an issue.

  1. A painful limitation while lifting the arm sideways


    pijn bij slijmbeursontsteking schouder

    pain in the active midrange

    The patient experiences pain during a certain part of a sideways lift that can disappear when getting higher. This is usually a problem of the tendons or bursas under the shoulder capsule.

  1. All movements are going well but are painful in the maximum upward positon


    pijn bij eindstandig heffen van de schouder

    pain in the endrange

    With young people instability can be the cause of the complaints: flexible joint ligaments in combination with a limited muscle function. With middle aged patients there could be a problem with the AC joint. This joint is on top of the shoulder and is shaped by the outside part of the collarbone and the end of the bone of the shoulder blade.

The treatment of shoulder complaints

Since the rise of ultrasound examination we are more capable of judging the condition of the shoulder structures. It helps us determine whether or not treatment through physiotherapy could be successful.

In general most shoulder complaints can be treated very well by general practitioners and physiotherapists. Fysiotherapie Middenweg has a modern ultrasound system and has extensive experience in the area of shoulder ultrasound.

As we get older, we see abnormalities in ultrasounds, x-rays or MRI scans. These don’t have to cause complaints. They are age related. Why one person experiences complaints and another doesn’t, depends on many factors. Examples are chronical overload of the shoulder, heredity or dysfunctional movement. The way of dealing with the complaints also varies per person.