Shoulder pain is a very common complaint, affecting almost half of us at some point in our lives as there are many causes of the 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.
If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain you should seek Chiropractic help. Treatment is directed at the specific cause of your problem to be effective. Like any other pain condition, the sooner you get appropriate care, the quicker the pain will subside and allow you to go back to normal activities.
Signs that you should seek treatment include:
The treatment of shoulder pain depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is important for the chiropractor to accurately diagnose the problem before any treatment can start. Just remember, resting and taking painkillers only, is not a treatment that is likely to help your shoulder in the long term in the absence of treating the root cause.
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, but can also make things worse!
Exercise: Rehabilitation exercise is an important part of getting better, but it is important to know what to do and when to start exercises. Some exercises can make your condition worse!
Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, commonly referred to as NSAID's, 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. You should be aware of the possible side-effects of long term use.
Cortisone injections: Cortisone is a powerful medication that treats inflammation, which is a common problem in patients with shoulder pain. Discuss with your doctor the possible benefits of a cortisone injection for your shoulder condition. 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.
Joint and Muscle Release: This is where Chiropractic excels. Not only can we unwind the tight connective tissue around your shoulder, but we can also get the adjacent joints moving fully to allow the shoulder freedom of motion. This allows it to heal effectively. Then we can help you stregthen the shoulder girdle and prevent future issues".
Referred pain from the neck and Mid-back: When the structures in the neck and mid-back are painful, the pain is often felt over the shoulder. It is important to remember this. Your chiropractor will always examine your neck and mid-back when you come in for shoulder pain.
Bursitis/Rotator Cuff Tendinitis = Impingement syndrome: One of the most common causes 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 condition that leads to severely restricted movement of the shoulder. It is not as common as people think and is often misdiagnosed.
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 or unstable joint. Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury (dislocation), or may develop over time. This can occur with or without producing a secondary impingement syndrome.
Shoulder Dislocation: A dislocation is a traumatic 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 (Acromio-Clavicular Tear): Also called an A/C separation, these injuries are the result of a disruption of the acromio-clavicular joint. This is a very different injury from a gleno-humeral dislocation.
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.
It is important to remember that pain from the gall bladder can be felt over the right shoulder and pain from the pancreas can be felt over the left shoulder, and most importantly, heart attacks can refer pain into the left shoulder and arm. Chiropractors are trained in medical diagnosis and one of the priorities in the examination is to rule out more serious medical conditions before any treatment can start. For more information on how chiropractic can help, contact us or book online now.
Call us today on 01224 211517 to book your appointment.