Shoulder Pain 101: Your Guide to All-Natural Relief
Are you currently shouldering the burden of shoulder pain? This common complaint sends millions of Americans to the doctor every year — and it afflicts up to one-quarter of the population aged 50 and older. Whether you developed your particular problem from a sports injury, auto accident, or chronic strain, you may find working, sleeping, driving, and countless other tasks (literally) out of your reach. Let’s look at some common causes of shoulder pain, as well as the all-natural treatments and preventative strategies we offer our patients here at Back to Mind Chiropractic.
Shoulder Pain Causes
Shoulder pain can be tricky to diagnose simply because of the complexity of the shoulder joint itself. This ball-and-socket joint can rotate more freely than any other joint in your body, but only when all of its structures are working well together. These structures include:
- The cartilage that prevents friction from occurring between the ball and the socket
- The muscles and tendons that move the shoulder
- The bursae, fluid-filled “pads” that protect the tendons from friction and irritation
- The nerves that run from the cervical spine through the shoulder joint to the arm
The interaction between all these different tissues can easily be disrupted by all sorts of problems, from acute injuries to chronic conditions. Acute shoulder pain may occur immediately after an injury, or it may lurk in wait for days or weeks before presenting symptoms. (Adrenaline from the shock of an accident or other trauma can cause this delay.) A direct impact to the shoulder or extreme hyperextension of the shoulder may cause:
- Soft tissue damage – The muscles and tendons that support and mobilize the shoulder (also known as the rotator cuff) can stretch or tear. Whiplash injures that damage the neck may also damage the shoulder tissues.
- Dislocation – Sometimes the ball of the shoulder joint can pop right out its socket, cause agonizing pain and damaging the surrounding tissues. A dislocated shoulder has an increased risk of becoming dislocated again.
- Fracture – A fracture in the shoulder bones requires immediate care from a hospital.
Chronic conditions present an even more common threat to your shoulder’s comfort and function. Shoulder joints can suffer from issues such as:
- Osteoarthritis – You may have chronic pain in your shoulder if the cartilage between bones is breaking down.
- Repetitive motion injuries – Constant overhand motions can create countless tiny tears in the rotator cuff muscles and tendons, leaving you with chronic shoulder inflammation — a common sports injury for tennis players and pitchers. Tendons can also become painfully pinched in these situations.
- Cervical radiculopathy – The nerves issuing from the cervical spine may be compressed at some point along the shoulder assembly, causing pain and other discomfort in the shoulder, arm of hand. The compression may even occur in the cervical spine, sending referred pain into the shoulder.
How Chiropractors Diagnose Shoulder Pain
Chiropractors understand the delicate balance between the shoulder’s many parts. Our chiropractor, Dr. Abramson, may use a combination of X-rays, MRI imaging, physical inspection of the shoulder, evaluations of your range of motion, and descriptions of your symptoms to discover exactly where the problem lies. If your pain occurs in specific positions, for instance, we may diagnose inflammation or impingement of a specific bursa or tendon.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
Most shoulder problems respond well to non-surgical treatment modalities. Our chiropractor may recommend a holistic treatment plan that includes several forms of care. Chiropractic adjustment can normalize the positions of shoulder bones. Spinal decompression relieve referred pain from nerve compression in the cervical spine. Massage therapy can help injured shoulder tissues heal normally and ease inflammation. You may also benefit from physical therapy and various physiotherapy techniques to get your pain under control and speed the healing process.
When to See a Doctor for Your Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain shouldn’t be ignored. See a doctor if you have signs of bruising or infection, inability to lift your arm, continuous shoulder pain, obvious deformity of the joint, or breathing/abdominal that might indicate a serious crisis. Call our chiropractor at any of our offices for an evaluation! We are located in Pompano Beach, Tamarac, Coral Springs, and Hollywood, FL