Treating Shoulder Pain with Chiropractic Care
What is Shoulder Pain?
Do you have shoulder pain but just can’t think of what you did to make it hurt? Unfortunately, there are several conditions that occur causing discomfort in the shoulder that is not caused by a traumatic activity. Let’s look at a few of the most common causes.
Common causes of Shoulder pain without traumatic injury:
- Spinal Issues: Even though it’s your shoulder that hurts, the underlying issue may be in the cervical spine. It may not be the result of a shoulder problem but an issue with the cervical spine and or discs. Pain can originate in the cervical spine and due to the large number of nerves that travel through the spinal column it is possible to have a subluxation (interruption in the spinal nerve that causes disease) that “refers” the pain to the shoulders or shoulder blades. It is also possible that you may feel numbness and tingling in your arms or hands as well with this condition.
- Frozen shoulder: This is a very common condition in the United States. This condition is also known as adhesive capsulitis. Frozen shoulder happens because of inflammation in the lining of the capsule of the ball socket and joint of the shoulder. This capsule tightens and thickens which creates discomfort and an increase in pain with a decrease in range of motion. There is not a direct cause for this inflammation, but patients often feel an increase in pain and a decrease in movement.
- Calcific Tendonitis: Like frozen shoulder, there is not an identifiable cause for this type of tendonitis. Calcific tendonitis happens when there is a buildup of calcium in the muscles or tendons in the shoulder region.
- Arthritis: Arthritis can happen in the shoulder region even if there has not been any documented trauma to that area. There are over 100 defined causes for arthritis, most of which result in stiffness, inflammation, and pain. Some forms of arthritis are triggered by an autoimmune disease that may be the cause while others can be attributed to overwork of the joints.
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: A term describing pain and loss of function of the rotator cuff tendons. This is common in athletes who overwork their shoulders while exercising over long periods of time.
Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Pain Common signs and symptoms of shoulder pain include:
- Warmth or redness in your shoulder ▪ Neck pain, arm pain, or back pain
- A clicking, popping, or grinding sensation when you move your arm.
- Muscle stiffness and weakness
- Limited range of motion
Shoulder pain is often caused by injury or overuse, both of which are more likely for those who engage in sports and other high-risk activities. Risk factors for shoulder pain include:
- Engaging in constant or repetitive motion of the arm
- Participating in sports such as tennis, baseball, football, softball, gymnastics, climbing, or basketball
- Having a history of spine injury, liver, heart, or gallbladder disease
- Being older: it’s more likely after the age of 60, as soft tissues such as cartilage and tendons can degenerate over time.
Finding a cause can often be difficult, however our board-certified chiropractor and staff understand that lifestyle plays a big role in managing pain and associated symptoms. Our Chiropractor and staff also see the connection between shoulder pain and the “3 T’s.”
- Trauma (Physical Stress): Injury as well as overuse during exercise or repetitive motion can lead to muscle weakness and stiffness associated with shoulder pain. Repetitive motion such as tennis or other occupations that lead to overuse of the shoulder are often seen as groups that suffer from shoulder pain.
- Toxins (Chemical Stress): Dehydration has a profound effect on cells resulting in damage to that cell. Toxins then become attracted to those cells as a host for disease processes. The body is unable to flush toxins when it is dehydrated causing inflammation. Staying well hydrated is an important factor in flushing toxins from your body. Good nutrition and hydration also promote the healing process
- Thoughts (Emotional Stress): As always, increased stressors can trigger inflammation which can lead to disease processes that include shoulder pain. What is important is to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a positive attitude and increase or maintain your exercise routine that includes stretching.
How can Chiropractic Care Provide Relief?
Chiropractic is a health care discipline which emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the brain and nervous system). It also focuses on how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health. It is founded upon the principle that the body’s innate healing power is affected by and integrated through the nervous system.
Based on these principles, chiropractic care can provide relief in many ways if you are experiencing arthritic pain and symptoms.
- Chiropractic adjustments realign the spine and encourage the nerve pathways to improve. Adjustments start to correct the misfiring that occurs in the neurons causing a heightened sensitivity to pain. Additionally, adjustments help improve sleep patterns. A more restful sleep helps the healing process. Adjustments also encourage better cognitive function. By realigning the upper cervical spine (or neck), Connected Chiropractic’s board-certified chiropractor is reducing interference within the brain.
- Massage Therapy is another tool that we utilize in the office to help with shoulder pain. It reduces muscle tension, stiffness in the body, and joint pain. It also helps regulate digestion and encourages sleep.
- Exercise Therapy and Education is also a benefit our office provides. The use of light aerobic exercise can help you avoid muscle stiffness and joint pain when properly incorporated into your daily routine. Good stretches are also recommended! Diet is reviewed and suggestions are made to improve your diet thereby improving the building blocks for healing. Some modifications in daily activities may also benefit those who suffer from shoulder pain. We offer a wide range of activities that can help keep joints loose and pain free.
- Supplements could also be used to help ease shoulder pain symptoms. A variety can be used to improve sleep, help with depression, and decrease inflammation. Our skilled chiropractor can make recommendations on what supplements and vitamins can work best for you.
Our goal at Connected Chiropractic is to use multiple methods to help restore and preserve your optimal health. We will make a care plan that fits your individual needs, and pairs well with what is already working, to improve your daily life.
Don’t live with shoulder pain another day. Call our office to get started on your restorative path to optimal health, or schedule online today!
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Tuesday: 9am-11am / 3pm – 6pm
Wednesday: 9am-11am / 3pm – 6pm
Thursday: 9am-11am / 3pm – 6pm
1Journal of the American Medical Association. (2017, April). Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Retrieved from Journal of the American Medical Association
2 American College of Physicians. (2017, April). Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. Retrieved from American College of Physicians
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