If you’ve been struggling with shoulder pain for a long time, you’re not alone. Shoulder pain is a common condition that directly impacts the health and overall quality of life for an individual. Research shows that 20% to 50% of bone and muscle problems involve chronic shoulder pain. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgery, around 2 million people seek consultation for shoulder-related issues every year.
This is because many strenuous activities like playing sports, exercising, and lifting heavy objects involve repetitive rotating arm movements. Not just athletics, but even daily activities like gardening, painting high walls, and walking large pets can place considerable strain on the shoulder muscles, leading to an increased chance of injuries.
What Are the Common Causes and Symptoms of Shoulder Injuries?
Your shoulder joint is made of three main bones — the collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), and upper arm bone (humerus). It also has many different muscles, tendons (which connect muscles to bones), and ligaments that attach to these bones and act together to help you use your arms. Damage to any of these tissues caused by trauma, falls, accidents, dislocation, or overuse can result in significant shoulder pain.
Some of the most common shoulder injuries include:
- Dislocation or shoulder instability: In this condition, the head of the upper arm bone pops out of the socket in your shoulder blade, resulting in pain, swelling, weakness, numbness, and bruising.
- Rotator cuff injuries: In this condition, the group of muscles and tendons holding your shoulder joint in place may be torn or injured by a fall, overuse, or even age, resulting in pain and numbness.
- Frozen shoulder: An ailment that is due to excess tissue builds up in the shoulder joint, which restricts your movement, resulting in the “freezing” or stiffness of your joint.
- Bursitis or tendinitis: In this condition, the muscle tendons or the fluid-filled sac (bursa) that cushions your joint becomes inflamed due to trauma or overuse, resulting in pain and swelling.
- Bone fractures: Broken bones are usually caused by trauma, falls, accidents, or sports injuries.
- Impingement: In this condition, the tendons and/or nerves of the shoulder are pinched due to excessive overhead motion, resulting in pain and swelling.
- Other injuries: These include strains and sprains caused by trauma, falls, and strenuous activities.
Shoulder pain can also be differentiated into types such as one-sided or both-sided shoulder pain, pain in the entire joint, shoulder blade pain, pain below the shoulder blade, pain during breathing, pain during movement (or specifically overhead movement), and pain that worsens when lying down or at night.
Can Shoulder Pain Be Self-Treated?
Ignoring a shoulder injury or powering through the symptoms is not a good idea, as the injury is likely to worsen over time, resulting in even more pain, discomfort, and damage.
You may have tried over-the-counter-medicine to decrease the pain, but this will likely provide only temporary symptomatic relief. Once the effect of the drug wears off, the pain is likely to come back because you haven’t identified and treated the root cause of the shoulder discomfort.
A lot of information is also available on the many exercises you can do to relieve shoulder pain. But if you don’t know the exact cause of your pain, exercise may exacerbate the problem.
Over time, you may learn to live with the pain because you’re worried that treating your shoulder pain might require expensive medications, steroids, or surgery. But there is a middle ground, and an effective solution: chiropractic care.
How Can Chiropractors Help With Shoulder Pain?
While you may commonly associate chiropractic care with back pain or neck pain, it’s a comprehensive treatment modality that works with the body as a whole. Chiropractors first detect the main cause of your shoulder pain before providing the appropriate treatment. This may be done through diagnostic techniques like an MRI and/or X-rays. Once your chiropractor understands your complete medical history and has performed various examinations to identify the location and intensity of your pain, they can design a customized treatment plan.
This may include the application of ice and heat packs, safe and appropriate stretching, rehabilitation exercises, and even resting techniques to allow your injured shoulder to heal.
Here are some of the key techniques that chiropractors use to treat shoulder pain:
- Alignment: Proper alignment of the bones can improve the range of motion in your shoulder and can decrease pain during overhead movements.
- Ultrasound: This can improve blood flow to the injured area, leading to decreased inflammation and increased healing.
- Massage therapy: This can assist in breaking down scar tissue, decreasing pain, and increasing the range of motion of the shoulder. Techniques like myofascial release can relax the muscles and relieve the tissue covering the muscles.
- Active release treatment: This is effective for soft-tissue injuries, like frozen shoulder, in which there is dense tissue buildup. In this technique, manipulation and movement of the joint can improve blood flow and break apart scar tissue, reducing pain and promoting rapid healing.
What Are the Benefits of Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractic care has proved to provide pain relief and an enhanced quality of life in people with chronic shoulder pain. Many are even able to resume their normal activities after the completion of their treatment, with no return of the symptoms.
Chiropractic care is precise, natural, and tailored to your needs. It addresses the underlying cause of your pain, minimizing recurrence.
Chiropractic adjustments are also a great way to correct poor joint positioning, which causes chronic pain, decreased strength, and poor mobility. Improved body posture can also help improve your sleep quality and boost your activity levels.
Denver’s Best Local Chiropractor
You might feel ready to give chiropractic care a shot but may not be sure of how to go about it. If you’re in the Denver area, Reinhardt Chiropractic offers a wide range of services to ensure that your chiropractic experience is enriching, effortless, and effective.
Whether it’s been a day or a year, you no longer have to live in pain.
Schedule an appointment today to discover how we can help you manage your shoulder pain and regain your active lifestyle.
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