In recent years chiropractic care has become almost synonymous with spinal adjustment and lower back pain treatment. But chiropractic practitioners can also help with both acute and chronic shoulder discomfort.
Shoulder pain typically starts with a defined occurrence, such as a sports injury, getting banged up in a minor car accident, or in a fall. In many cases, the symptoms from these types of events will improve and go away with typical home treatment such as heating pads or icing.
In other cases the soreness may be slight to start but then gradually and worsen over time, and might have no obvious cause. Shoulder blade pain can be caused by a number of factors. For instance, some people develop shoulder pain because they tweaked it while they slept. Other people may develop shoulder pain after years of repetitive movement at work or leisure time, in the way some develop tennis elbow or knee issues from years of bowling.
Before spending the money to visit an orthopedist, go for a consultation with your local chiropractor. Most practitioners are trained to adjust and treat extremities including knees, smaller joints such as the toes, and the shoulders. Sometimes shoulder pain is caused by joint irritation, while other times it is caused by tissue irritation. Chiropractic treatments can often offer relief for both kinds of shoulder pain through manipulation and other treatments, depending on your specific circumstance.
The shoulder is the body’s most mobile joint. As such it is surrounded by nerves, tendons, and various other tissues all of which can become irritated and painful. Tendons help attach muscle to bone while ligaments attach bone to bone. Four tendons make up the rotator cuff, which attach the shoulder muscles to the bone. All of these tendons originate near the shoulder blade, also known as the scapula. The cuff and joint are provided additional strengthen by cartilage and ligaments. Pain in neck can also refer pain into the shoulder joint.
The chiropractor will start with a diagnostic examination to determine your shoulder’s range of motion, and possible your neck, and will also test the muscle and related sensations. Despite all the tissue surrounding and supporting the shoulder joint, it can still become out of alignment, which results in the muscles and ligaments to pull differently, leading to spasms, inflammation, and pain. Gentle manual adjustments to the shoulder can be performed or it may be adjusted using a speeder board, drop table piece, or reflex-type hammer tool. It’s also a good idea to have the neck and upper back adjusted at the same time.
Chiropractors report that shoulder pain can be caused by bad posture, especially in office environments, Long periods of sitting can lead to what’s called postural syndrome, where the shoulders roll forward toward the chest and the upper back droops forward. To maintain proper upper body posture keep your ears lined up over the shoulders, which should be down, relaxed and back.