Health Corner

factory worker


There are many contributing factors behind the development of shoulder pain, but there are not many that have more impact than repetitive movements. Whether it’s standing at a conveyor belt for hours on end, picking and packing, getting into awkward positions to do their work, or having to do lots of lifting, reaching, and overhead work, factory workers put their shoulders to the test day in, and day out.

Sometimes, with these repetitive movements, the shoulder complex can become dysfunctional, with the development of muscle imbalances, largely involving the rotator cuff muscles – and things can get a bit irritated. This irritation can cause bursitis and/or tendinopathy (also and somewhat incorrectly called tendinitis/tendinosis).

Basically, things get pinched, those things get rather grumpy about it, and your brain lets you know this is happening by sending you pain. The next thing you know, you’re off work, or are just soldiering along with limited movement of your shoulder, and you’re struggling to sleep because of your aching shoulder and arm. At the more serious end of these injuries, you can develop acute or chronic tears in your muscles or tendons around the shoulder, which sometimes require surgery.

As a physio, I’ve seen all this many times before, and the best solution is almost always the same thing; exercise! 

guy working out with intensity at the gym
You, after completing your physio-guided exercise program **

Joining up at your local gym and just going for it, however, is probably not the best way of treating this sort of issue, as the exercises you do need to be rather specific to your particular shoulder injury. This is where your physio comes in; research has repeatedly shown that specific resistance training exercise programs help with treatment and prevention of shoulder pain in workers, and your physio can certainly help to guide you in the right direction.

** results not typical and may vary from image shown

Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your work-related condition. Alternatively, send us a message or comment on Facebook or via our website, and we’ll be in touch!



ANDERSEN, L., JØRGENSEN, M., BLANGSTED, A., PEDERSEN, M., HANSEN, E. and SJØGAARD, G. (2008). A Randomized Controlled Intervention Trial to Relieve and Prevent Neck/Shoulder Pain. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(6), pp.983-990.

Andersen, L., Saervoll, C., Mortensen, O., Poulsen, O., Hannerz, H. and Zebis, M. (2011). Effectiveness of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training for frequent neck/shoulder pain: Randomised controlled trial. Pain, 152(2), pp.440-446.

Holmgren, T., Hallgren, H., Öberg, B., Adolfsson, L. and Johansson, K. (2014). Effect of specific exercise strategy on need for surgery in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome: randomised controlled study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(19), pp.1456-1457.

Ludewig, P. (2003). Effects of a home exercise programme on shoulder pain and functional status in construction workers. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(11), pp.841-849.