Shoulder pain is an
extremely common complaint, and there are many causes of this
problem. We have listed some of the most common conditions here
to help you get an idea what they are and what chiropractic
treatment can do to help.
Like any other pain condition, the sooner you get appropriate
care the quicker the pain will go away and allow you to get back
to normal activities. The sooner you get appropriate care the
less likely you are to get a recurrent and chronic problem.
If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if
you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your
condition, you should seek chiropractic help. Treatment of these
conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your
problem to be effective.
Some signs that you should be seen by a Chiropractor
- Inability to carry objects or use the arm
- Injury that causes deformity of the joint
- Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
- Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days
- Inability to raise the arm
- Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
- Signs of an infection, including fever, redness, warmth
- Any other unusual symptoms
What are the best treatments for shoulder pain?
The treatment of shoulder pain depends entirely on the cause
of the problem. Therefore, it is important for the chiropractor
to accurate diagnose the problem before any treatment can start.
If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your
condition, you should seek advice before beginning any
self-treatment. Not all treatments listed here are appropriate
for every condition, but may be helpful in your situation. Just
remember, resting and taking painkillers only, is not a
treatment that is likely to help your shoulder in the long term.
But may well be part of what you need to do when the treatment
What are the Causes of Shoulder Pain?
Here is a list of some of the most common causes for shoulder
- Referred pain from the neck
When the structures in the neck are painful, the pain is
often felt over the shoulder. It is important to remember
this and your chiropractor will always examine your neck
when you come in for shoulder pain.
- Bursitis/ Rotator Cuff Tendinitis = Impingement
The most common diagnosis in patients with shoulder pain
is bursitis and tendinitis of the rotator cuff musculature
causing impingement syndrome.
- Rotator Cuff Tear
Different degrees of rotator cuff tears can occur. If
the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone,
surgery is sometimes necessary.
- Frozen Shoulder
Also called 'adhesive capsulitis,' this is a common
condition that leads to severely restricted movement of the
- Calcific Tendinitis
Calcific tendinitis is a condition of calcium deposits
within a tendon - most commonly within the rotator cuff
tendons. Treatment of calcific tendinitis depends on the
extent of symptoms.
- Shoulder Instability
Instability is a problem that causes a loose joint.
Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury
(dislocation), or may be a developed condition.
- Shoulder Dislocation
A dislocation is an injury that occurs when the
ball-part of the shoulder joint (top of the arm bone) slips
out of the socket (part of the shoulder blade).
- Ligament injury (Acromio-Clavicular Tear)
Also called an A/C separation, these injuries are the
result of a disruption of the acromio-clavicular joint. This
is a very different injury from a gleno-humeral dislocation.
- Labral Tear
There are several patterns of a torn labrum and the type
of treatment depends on the specific injury.
Shoulder arthritis is less common than knee and hip
arthritis, but when severe may require a joint replacement
surgery. However, arthritic changes are more common in the
acromio-clavicular joint between the collarbone and the
- Biceps Tendon Rupture
The upper part of the biceps tendon can rupture and cause
Chiropractors are trained in medical diagnosis and one of the
priorities in the examination is to rule out more serious
medical conditions before any treatment can start. For more
information on how chiropractic can help,