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Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain

Do you often find it hard to raise your arm or carry an object? Are there signs of inflammation on your shoulder? If you answered YES to both questions, then you may be suffering from shoulder pain. Other symptoms to watch out for include recurrent aching on the shoulder, a deformed shoulder, and a frozen shoulder. So, if at any time you experience such symptoms, you should seek treatment immediately.

But you should know that shoulder pain doesn’t just get treated by taking pain relievers and having plenty of rest. No. This will only provide short-term relief but doesn’t give any guarantee that the problem won’t recur. You need to treat the issue from its root and that’s the spine. If there’s any treatment that can do, it has to be chiropractic care. Before we can look at how the treatment helps, let’s first learn about the source of the problem.

The Causes

Usually, the key to treating shoulder pain is diagnosing its course. This is critical not just in medical diagnosis but also in chiropractic assessments. A lot of times, shoulder pains are caused by the following:

  • Pain transfer from an aching neck, back or an internal organ like the pancreas and gall bladder.
  • Shoulder joint immobilization for long hours (we call the condition a frozen shoulder).
  • A dislocated shoulder often associated with a traumatic injury.
  • Tearing of the tendons of the rotator cuff due to a shoulder injury.
  • Arthritis effects on the shoulder joint.
  • Calcium deposition on the shoulder joint.
  • Shoulder joint becoming unstable over time either because of a traumatic injury on the shoulder or a shoulder condition.

The Chiropractic Factor

Before you can see a chiropractor, it’s important to know how the care practice works. The first thing to know is that the body’s musculoskeletal system works as a unit and that the spine is the pillar of the whole system. So, if there’s any misalignment on the spine path leading to the shoulder, it has to be fixed. In this case, a chiropractor will employ hands-on body manipulation techniques collectively known as chiropractic adjustments. The aim of this approach is to clear misalignments on the spine so as to exercise its therapeutic function.

When the spine is well-aligned, the immune system is maximally stimulated to exercise its therapeutic function. Thus, immune cells are released and distributed in the body. As a result, healing effects are felt on your shoulder. A chiropractor can also manually manipulate the hurting shoulder and adjacent parts to release their tension. This is particularly important in getting rid of discomforts associated with shoulder pain. Generally, doing chiropractic adjustments is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Enhances range of motion on your shoulder joint
  • Ease pain, swelling, and soreness on the affected shoulder
  • Improves shoulder strength and stability
  • Improves shoulder flexibility and comfort

Other Ways a Chiropractor Can Help with Shoulder Pain

Though the key role that chiropractors play when dealing with shoulder pain is doing chiropractic adjustment, there are other ways that such experts can help. Here are the common ones:

  1. Chiropractic Diagnosis

Before a chiropractor can decide to do spinal adjustments and neck manipulation on you, a diagnosis must be established. In most times, the expert will use physical approaches to assess shoulder pain. The expert will feel the shoulder and observe how you respond when it’s touched or moved. The chiropractor may also consider using imaging exams like CT scanning and MRI.

Depending on the results of the diagnostic imaging exams, a chiropractor may consider recommending chiropractic adjustments as the only treatment or may suggest co-treating the condition. In the case of a co-treatment, you may need to do chiropractic adjustments alongside therapies like physiotherapy and massage therapy. Such therapies are normally considered when your shoulder pain is at a severe stage.

  1. Posture Treatment

Sometimes, all you need to treat shoulder pain is maintaining the correct posture all day. In this case, a chiropractor, who may also double up as your physiotherapist, will advise you on how to sit and rest so as not to impact the shoulders negatively. Basically, you’ll be taken through the basics of better posture.

  1. Home Exercises

A chiropractor can recommend several exercises for the shoulder to do on your own at home. Simply, the expert can help form a personalized workout plan depending on your shoulder condition and willingness. Following the plan eliminates the need to see a physiotherapist.

  1. Ice & heat – Both ice and heat can be used to curb shoulder pain and to reduce its inflammation. Though the options offer short-term relief, most chiropractors consider them before they can do chiropractic adjustments. But if you consider DIY ice & heat application, you should be careful not to apply where you are not hurting. It may make the areas to hurt

Non-Chiropractic Practices Known to Enhance Chiropractic Effects

Even though chiropractic care is an effective treatment for shoulder pain on its own, some practices just improve it. They include:

  • Rehabilitation exercises – After having your chiropractic sessions, you could boost your bounce-back chances by engaging in rehabilitation exercises. You’ll need to book an appointment with a physiotherapist for this. The exercises will help the shoulder joint recover fast.
  • Ultrasound – A chiropractor may also recommend ultrasound treatment for your shoulder in addition to chiropractic adjustments. The sound waves that are directed to your shoulder may help release tension and discomfort.
  • Natural anti-inflammatory remedies – Your chiropractor may recommend natural options for treating inflammations instead of taking NSAID. A lot of times, they recommend essential oils.
  • Cortisol injection – Though often taken as an independent treatment for shoulder pain, cortisol can be used as an adjunct treatment to chiropractic care. But you should be aware that the option is invasive and may come with serious side effects.
  • Joint resting – Lastly, it’s important to rest your shoulder joint so as to reduce inflammation. It’s however important to do it cautiously to avoid freezing the joint. A frozen shoulder may result from prolonged immobilization of the shoulder joint. So, you should only rest it intermittently.

Closing Thought:

Generally, chiropractic care is worth considering when dealing with any kind of shoulder pain. Since chiropractors treat the issue from its source, this not only promises to clear the symptoms but also the condition in general. So, if you have been suffering from recurrent shoulder pain and haven’t managed to treat it effectively, it’s time you pick up your phone and call a chiropractor. The expert is likely to help you.