What is Shoulder Pain?
Shoulder pain can be a result of injury or disease of the shoulder joint. Injury can affect any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the shoulder joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, menisci (plural for meniscus), and bones of the joint.
Causes of Shoulder Pain
The ACA Rehab Council states the various shoulder problems seen by doctors of Chiropractic can be due to one or more of the manifestations of rotator cuff dysfunction. This is generally a biomechanical continuum which begins with dysfunction of the rotator cuff muscles and may progress to rotator cuff syndrome, supraspinatus tendinitis, impingement syndrome, subdeltoid and subacromial bursitis, calcific shoulder bursitis, and even cases of frozen shoulder and bicipital tendinitis. In most cases, there is no direct, acute injury.
Because it is a very mobile joint with little stability in certain positions, the soft tissues of the shoulder region can be injured during athletic and recreational activities, at work, or in a fall. Every acute sprain and strain injury to the shoulder needs an accurate evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation if future problems are to be avoided. Chronic instability is a real possibility after an injury, since the surrounding muscles and connective tissues are the true source of shoulder joint stability.
Chiropractic Care and Shoulder Pain
The goal of chiropractic care at Westwood Total Health is to improve the posture and alignment of the spine to help your nerves work better, which will allow for increased healing and function. Also, when the spine is in proper position, this allows the shoulder girdle to be properly aligned on the torso; the complex mechanism of the shoulder will be more likely to function optimally.
The most important aspect is to recognize and address the biomechanical alignment problems and postural factors that are frequently associated with shoulder injuries. This entails screening patients for forward head and flexed (kyphotic) torso postures. In addition, protracted (forward) shoulders change the angle of the scapula and compress the rotator cuff further. Failure to recognize these complicating factors will result in a patient with recurring shoulder complaints.
Shoulder Pain Tips
- Stay in good overall physical shape. Strengthen your wrist, arm, shoulder, neck, and back muscles to help protect and decrease stress on your shoulder. Do stretching and range-of-motion (ROM) exercises for your arms and shoulders.
- Have your spine and nervous system evaluated by a chiropractor to assess for any alignment or postural issues that may be causing shoulder dysfunction and weakness in nerves
- Maintain good posture. Stand straight and relaxed, without slumping.
- Warm up well and stretch before any activity. Stretch after exercise to keep hot muscles from shortening and cramping.
- Wear protective gear during sports or recreational activities, such as rollerblading or mountain biking
- Wear your seat belt when in a motor vehicle
- Do not use alcohol or other drugs before participating in sports or when operating a motor vehicle or other equipment
- Don’t carry objects that are too heavy. Make sure children and teenagers use school bags and backpacks correctly.
- Avoid catching falling objects
- Use a step stool. Do not stand on chairs or other unsteady objects.
- Use the correct body movements or positions during activities, such as lifting, so that you do not strain your shoulder. Do not lift objects that are too heavy for you.
- Avoid overusing your arm doing repeated movements that can injure your bursa or tendons. In daily routines or hobbies, think about the activities in which you make repeated arm movements. Try alternating hands during activities such as gardening, cooking, or playing musical instruments. Use rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE) for home treatment.
- Avoid keeping your arms out to the side or raised overhead for long periods of time, such as when painting a ceiling. If you must do these things, take frequent breaks.
- Consult with a chiropractor, physiotherapist or sports-training specialist if you are a competitive or serious recreational athlete. The chiropractor or therapist can recommend training and conditioning programs to prevent shoulder problems or injuries.
- Make sure your child’s backpack is the right size with good support. Carrying heavy backpacks may increase the risk of shoulder problems or injury.
- If you feel activities at your workplace are causing pain or soreness from overuse, call your human resources department for information on alternative ways of doing your job or to discuss equipment modifications or other job assignments.
In 2013, a study included 50 patients with Frozen Shoulder Syndrome between the ages of 40-70 years of age. Patients were treated with chiropractic care for an average treatment time of 28 days. The majority of patients had substantial improvements in shoulder adduction and pain. The median average patient had their pain score drop from a nine out of ten to a two out of ten, resulting in a median 78% improvement in pain. Additionally, researchers evaluated the patients’ shoulder function by measuring their degree of shoulder adduction. Sixteen patients had regained completely normal shoulder adduction; 25 patients had 75-90% improvement in shoulder adduction; and eight showed a 50-75% improvement.
ACA Rehab Council