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When To See A Chiropractor For Shoulder Pain

It is no surprise that many Americans suffer from chronic pain in different body areas, including the back, neck, and even the shoulder. Anyone who has experienced shoulder pain knows how consumed with it you can get, and you will try anything for relief. chiropractic care

Many Americans forget that a chiropractor can help with your pains through chiropractic care. Chiropractic care involves physical alignment or adjustment of the spine that has moved out of position. Chiropractors used manipulations to address alignment issues that can cause pain and other symptoms in your body. This gives your body a natural ability to heal.

Table of Contents

Types of Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a combination of joints, muscles, and tendons that help enable a wide variety of movement and motion ranges. With that being said, as much as you use your shoulder, it makes it prone to various injuries and conditions. Shoulder pain can affect up to 70% of Americans in their lifetime. The most common shoulder conditions are:

Biceps Tendinitis: Your biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle to the upper arm bone near the shoulder joint. Bicep tendonitis is where there is an inflammation of the tendon’s upper part.

Rotator Cuff Tear: Every time you move your shoulder, you use your rotator cuff to stabilize your shoulder. This is one of the most common injuries. A rotator cuff tear can be partial or complete, meaning a frayed tear or one that goes entirely through the tendon.

Shoulder Impingement: This often occurs due to repetitive compression of the rotator cuff during movement, 

Frozen Shoulder: Technically called adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder causes stiffness, pain, and immobility in the shoulder joint. This is due to the thickening and tightening of the shoulder joint capsule.

Causes Of Shoulder Pain

There are many different causes when it comes to shoulder pain. It is not always easy to know the difference between shoulder pain types such as frozen shoulder, should blade pain, or symptoms of a rotator cuff tear. If you have persistent pain, you should always seek care from a medical professional for a treatment plan.

Shoulder pain, as we mentioned, is an extremely common problem for many people. Given the anatomy of your shoulder, there are so many causes. 

Outside of the Shoulder– If you are experiencing pain outside of your shoulder, you may have a rotator cuff tear. Rotator cuff problems can cause pain, especially when trying to reach for something or throw something. The pain seems to worsen at night and can make it difficult to sleep. 

Frozen shoulder can also cause outside shoulder pain, but no one really knows its causes. Your joints stiffen with a frozen shoulder, and you can have constant pain.

Front of the Shoulder: Pain in the front of the shoulder is usually due to the biceps tendon. Biceps tendonitis can cause gradual pain at the front of the shoulder and worsen with repetitive lifting, carrying heavy items, and overhead activities. Bicep Tendon Rupture may occur if the bicep muscle breaks free near the joint. The symptoms can include a pop noise and pain, bruising, and swelling.

Top of the Shoulder: Shoulder arthritis is less common than most arthritis but can still cause discomfort to those suffering from it.

Arthritis causes the cartilage to wear away and can cause bone spurs and limit mobility.

All Over Shoulder Pain-The tendons, muscles, and ligaments that make up your shoulder keep it stable. If one of these tissues becomes loose or torn, the shoulder will have instability, and dislocation may occur. 

Shoulder Pain Treatment

When you are trying to treat your shoulder pain, it depends on the problem. While one treatment may help one issue, it may not help another. This is one reason you should seek medical attention for shoulder pain and have a professional treatment plan. 

Some treatments options your doctor or chiropractor may have you can include:

Rest: For many shoulder issues, you should rest the joint and allow the inflammation to subside. 

Ice and Heat: Ice packs are often used to reduce swelling and inflammation and be used if you have overworked your shoulder. Heat can be used to treat chronic shoulder conditions. Heat can relax the muscle, ease stiffness, and reduce pain.

Physical Activity: Keeping your shoulder moving can reduce stiffness and increase your strength and restore mobility. Your doctor can recommend different things to do.

Medications: Medications such as NSAIDs and steroid injections can be given for extreme shoulder conditions.

Surgery: If conservative measures are not working or your shoulder injury is too severe, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Chiropractic Care/Manipulative Therapy

When it comes to shoulder pain, you may not have thought about visiting your favorite chiropractor. Chiropractors are good for more than just back pain and aligning your spine; they can also work on your extremities.

If you have lost range of motion in your shoulder due to a sprain and overuse, your chiropractor may have a few tricks to help you.

Alignment: To decrease pain in the shoulder area and increase the range of motion, you may need an alignment. Your chiropractor can focus on where your clavicle, shoulder, and scapula get them adjusted and realigned. 

Myofascial Release: Myofascial therapy helps to relax the contracted muscles in your shoulder and release the fascia covering the muscle.

Graston Technique: This is where your chiropractor can use an instrument to break up the scar tissue and adhesions. In turn, this promotes you to have a more extensive range of motion.

Ultrasound: With this treatment, your blood flow increases, and the inflammation is reduced, all while promoting healing in the tear, sprain, or strain you are experiencing.

Electronic Stimulation: This is used for pain relief and muscle therapy. 

Depending on your shoulder pain severity, your chiropractor may use one or more of these techniques to help you. You may even feel better after 1-2 visits, but by following your medical professional’s recommendations, you should be pain-free with a broader range of motion in no time. 

Massage Therapy/Sports Massage

Your chiropractor may suggest massage therapy to help relieve your shoulder pain and increase your motion range. Although it may not cure your shoulder’s problems, the treatment can often help as a pain reliever. It can relieve muscle strain, stress, and joint pressure and reduce nerve compression. This, in turn, can reduce spasms and contractions in the shoulder that is causing pain. 

Massage therapy can help by:

  • Decrease trigger point pain
  • Loosen muscles and increase range of motion
  • Stretch joints to improve range of motion
  • Promote healing by using techniques that improve circulation.

When you are getting a massage, the muscles are being manipulated, which creates an involuntary relaxation response. The manipulation, in conjunction with a physical response applied to the soft tissue, helps your range of motion.

Studies have shown that massage therapy can improve the range of motion, but a sports massage may provide the most relief. In a sports massage, the therapists use the following technique to ease the pain:

Effleurage- long gliding strokes from your extremities inwards at various pressure levels

Petrissage- a rhythmic technique that can include kneading, skin rolling, or pushing and pulling

Friction– Technique that consists of deep, circular movements with the thumb, fingertips, palms, or elbows

Did you know Chiropractic care can help treat chronic back pain, sports injuries, and auto accidents?

Get in touch with Dr. Dee at Healing Hands Chiropractic today for an initial consultation!