The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the human body. That mobility is very useful but it also comes with a price: it is also our most unstable joint. When things start going wrong with the shoulder, it can be quite confusiong to diagnose, and can take a long time to get better.
Many different parts of the body can be involved in shoulder pain: the joint capsule, bursa, bones, ligaments and muscles, ribs, spine and nerves. The causes of shoulder and arm pain include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, muscle spasm and spinal subluxations. Subluxations occur when bones in the spine become slightly misaligned and cause interference to the nerves going to different body parts, in this case the shoulder. The importance of subluxations cannot be over-stressed: In a 1997 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the authors stated that “functional disorders in the cervical spine, the higher thoracic spine and the adjoining ribs are not extrinsic causes of shoulder complaints, but an integral part of the intrinsic causes of shoulder complaints”. It is thus of primary importance that the spine and ribs be checked for subluxations.
Shoulder pain can also be caused by problems with the internal organs such as the stomach, liver, heart, gall bladder or lungs, thus the importance of an accurate diagnosis.
What can a chiropractor do? A good chiropractor will take a thorough history of your complaint through a detailed consultation, examine you and conduct diagnostic tests to determine exactly what is causing your shoulder or arm pain. He or she will detect if subluxations are present in your spine. If necessary, X-rays of the spine and shoulder will be performed. Surface electromyography can also be useful in certain cases. Because the causes and the seriousness of different conditions are so varied, it is important to pinpoint the cause and begin the most appropriate treatment. A broken bone cannot be treated in the same manner as bursitis or tendonitis. Arthritis and gout call for different care than pain originating in nerves supplying the shoulder and arm. Your chiropractor will decide which treatment will be best for you and if referral to a specialist will be necessary. A chiropractor is the only spinal specialist in the detection and correction of spinal subluxations. Sometimes treatment will be directed to several body areas as many different factors, acting alone or in combination, could be the cause.
Please call if you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation.
When Lisa Jensen started working at our office in February, she had a shoulder and upper back that were hurting so much that she could hardly lift any weights. She was registered for a power lifting competition in March, but was...read more...
Sheri Kiemele consulted our office for severe neck, low back, and shoulder pain. The pain was so bad that she felt like she would blackout sometimes, and she would lose her vision. She also complained of severe headaches three to...read more...
Brian Rutt has been a patient of this clinic since 1996, and has been a regular - every two weeks - for several years. What granted Brian the honor of being patient of the month is that several months ago he hurt his neck and had very bad...read more...
When Lisa Jensen started working at our office in February, she had a shoulder and upper back that were hurting so much that she could hardly lift any weights. She was registered for a power lifting competition in March, but was thinking of pulling out under those circumstances. She started getting adjusted and after only a few adjustments, she could lift again. After only six adjustments, not only did she go and win the lifting competition, but she beat the dead lift world record! Congratulations Lisa!
Sheri Kiemele consulted our office for severe neck, low back, and shoulder pain. The pain was so bad that she felt like she would blackout sometimes, and she would lose her vision. She also complained of severe headaches three to four times a week. She was popping Tylenol constantly and she had bottles of Tylenol in every room in her house, and in the pocket of every jacket. The pain also interfered greatly with her quality of life, as there was many activities she could not do anymore and she “couldn’t think”
at work. After being under chiropractic care for a while, her headaches completely disappeared, most of her pain is gone, and she can enjoy her life again. She can ever, to her amazement, play volleyball again, which she couldn’t before because of her shoulder pain (she can even spike!!). She feels she moves better, walks better, sleeps better, and she doesn’t even have Tylenol at home anymore!
Brian Rutt has been a patient of this clinic since 1996, and has been a regular - every two weeks - for several years. What granted Brian the honor of being patient of the month is that several months ago he hurt his neck and had very bad pain in his shoulder blade area. He was in excruciating pain and couldn't even sleep. A MRI confirmed that he had a disc herniation in his neck putting direct pressure on one of his nerves. His sister, who is a medical doctor strongly advised against chiropractic care! Brian had so much faith in chiropractic and in our office that he decided to stay the natural course with chiropractic and after weeks of care, his condition was resolved. Thanks Brian for your confidence and for being such a great patient.