Shoulder Pain

Chiropractic and Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is an extremely common complaint, and there are many causes of this problem. We have listed some of the most common conditions here to help you get an idea what they are and what chiropractic treatment can do to help.

Like any other pain condition, the sooner you get appropriate care the quicker the pain will go and allow you to go back to normal activities, the sooner you get appropriate care the less likely you are to get a recurrent and chronic problem. If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain you should seek Chiropractic help. Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem to be effective.

Signs that you should seek treatment include:

  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
  • Inability to raise the arm
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
  • Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
  • Any other unusual symptoms

Here is a list of some of the most common causes for shoulder pain.

Referred pain from the neck When the structures in the neck are painful, the pain is often felt over the shoulder. It is important to remember this and your chiropractor will always examine your neck when you come in for shoulder pain.

Bursitis/ Rotator Cuff Tendinitis = Impingement syndrome .The most common diagnosis in patients with shoulder pain is bursitis and tendinitis of the rotator cuff musculature causing impingement syndrome.

Rotator Cuff Tear Different degrees of rotator cuff tears can occur. If the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone, surgery is sometimes necessary.

Frozen Shoulder Also called ‘adhesive capsulitis,’ this is a common condition that leads to severely restricted movement of the shoulder.

Calcific Tendinitis Calcific tendinitis is a condition of calcium deposits within a tendon – most commonly within the rotator cuff tendons. Treatment of calcific tendinitis depends on the extent of symptoms.

Shoulder Instability Instability is a problem that causes a loose joint. Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury (dislocation), or may be a developed condition.

Shoulder Dislocation A dislocation is an injury that occurs when the ball-part of the shoulder joint (top of the arm bone) slips out of the socket (part of the shoulder blade).

Ligament injury Also called an A/C separation, these injuries are the result of a disruption of the acromio-clavicular joint.

Labral Tear There are several patterns of a torn labrum and the type of treatment depends on the specific injury.

Arthritis Shoulder arthritis is less common than knee and hip arthritis, but when severe may require a joint replacement surgery. However, arthritic changes are more common in the acromio-clavicular joint between the collarbone and the shoulder blade.

Biceps Tendon Rupture The upper part of the biceps tendon can rupture and cause shoulder pain.

The treatment of shoulder pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is important for the chiropractor to accurate diagnose the problem before any treatment can start.

Rest: The first treatment for many common conditions that cause shoulder pain is to rest the joint, and allow the acute inflammation to subside. It is important, however, to use caution when resting the joint, because prolonged immobilisation can cause a frozen shoulder.

Ice and Heat Application: Ice packs and heat pads are among the most commonly used treatments for shoulder pain. It is important to use it correctly. If you are not sure which part to cool or heat, ask us!

Stretching: Stretching the muscles and tendons that surround the joint can help with some causes of shoulder pain. A good routine should be established, and following some specific suggestions will help you on your way.

Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, are some of the most commonly prescribed medications, especially for patients with shoulder pain caused by problems such as arthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis. There are of course some natural alternatives that your chiropractor can recommend.

Cortisone injections: It can be a useful adjunct to chiropractic treatment, but should not be relied on as a treatment on its own. It is quite an invasive approach and not without adverse-effects.

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