Chiropractic Care & PEMF Therapy Are A Great Choice For Shoulder Pain Relief
“Why am I having trouble lifting my arm above my head?” “What is that clicking sound coming from my shoulder?” “Ouch! My arm hurts when I reach in the back seat of the car.” “Why do movements like brushing my teeth and combing my hair so bothersome?”
These are some of the things that you might ask yourself or go through your mind when you start to encounter shoulder pain. It is one of the more common injuries over the human body because the shoulder joint is used so often. In this article we will take a look at a variety of different injuries that can affect movement and stability in the shoulder and what would be the best course to action to help it to heal. There are even some cases where the shoulder is not the main cause of the problem and day to day activity also known as activities of daily living (ADL’s) can become very difficult.
What Parts Of The Shoulder Lead To Pain?
For a little lesson of anatomy, the shoulder is a free moving ball and socket joint. It is made up of ligaments, tendons, a labrum and a joint capsule. Any of these tissues can be injured due to overuse or during a trauma such as a fall onto the shoulder or with an outstretched arm. The shoulder joint can not only be susceptible to injury but is also prone to arthritis over time just like the knee joint.
Any number of conditions can make movement of the shoulder very difficult but if caught early enough the treatment can be very conservative. If too much time passes and the condition becomes more severe than more drastic measures such as surgery might be required for proper healing. Let’s take a look at some of the more common causes of shoulder pain.
Shoulder muscle of rotator cuff strain tops the list of injuries because there are multiple muscles that have the opportunity to become damaged. There are four muscles that make up what are called the SITS muscles of the shoulder: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor and the subscapularis. The supraspinatus is termed the “suitcase” muscle because it initiates the first 20 degrees of movement of the shoulder which resembles holding a handbag or suitcase.
It is the most commonly injured muscle of the shoulder. The infraspinatus and the teres minor allow the shoulder to rotate backwards. When these muscles are injured it is most noticeable with movements like putting your arm inside your shirt or even flushing the toilet. The last and strongest rotator cuff muscle is the subscapularis. Even simple movements such as buttoning a shirt can be a cause of pain with injury to this muscle.
All of these shoulder muscles help to stabilize the joint itself which is why they are so important. Repetitive activities are the main culprit leading to injury such as overhead movements like tennis or lifting weights. But if done for prolonged periods of time even sitting at a computer for too long with bad posture and poor shoulder support can lead to a rotator cuff injury.
Shoulder Pain Due To Impingement Syndrome
Impingement syndrome is another common condition that can lead to significant shoulder pain. It is an extension of a rotator cuff strain because the primary reason for the injury is an imbalance of the supraspinatus muscle over time. The tendon of the muscle becomes inflamed and irritated and is passed under the top of the shoulder blade. A shoulder impingement syndrome is quite often seen in our clinic because of the amount of time our patients spend at the computer. The countless hours of having the arm extended on the mouse of the trackpad leads to the shoulder blade dropping and wrapping around the body. Muscles in the front of the shoulder become very tight and the muscles supporting the shoulder blade that connect to the spine weaken. This imbalance over time leads to impingement syndrome and can take significant time to recover if not caught early.
Some "Shoulder Pain" Is Not From The Shoulder At All
There are some cases of shoulder pain that do not originate from the actual shoulder. Sometimes the source of the issue can be coming from the neck which causes pain to be referred or even radiate. The nerves that come from the neck between the 4th and 7th bones/vertebrae control the muscles from the shoulder to the fingers on both sides. An irritated or pinched nerve in the neck can lead to a plethora of symptoms such as pain, numbness or even tingling.
This affected nerve is caused when an imbalance in the neck leads to a subluxation. The subluxation is when the vertebrae moves out of place and causes the nerve flow to be impeded. If this condition is left untreated for long enough not only will the pain intensify but the shoulder or arm muscles on the involved side can even start to atrophy. A weakened grip with grasping objects is an early indicator of a potential big problem down the road and should never be left untreated.
The last condition of shoulder pain that we will discuss is frozen shoulder. This type of shoulder pain involves the capsule around the shoulder joint when it stiffens and does not want to move. It is not well known why this type of condition occurs in the shoulder and it can range anywhere from previous injury to diabetes and even thyroid problems. Arthritis has also been shown to exhibit a lot of similar symptoms to frozen shoulder which is why these two conditions have been difficult to differentiate. If nothing is done to help heal from frozen shoulder then it can take over a year for shoulder joint motion to become normal again.
What Can You Do To Help Your Shoulder Pain?
Get a proper consult and examination from your chiropractor to see if conservative care is right for you. Most people in our society fall under the umbrella of muscle imbalancing leading to poor shoulder blade and neck movement. When well diagnosed with proper examination findings and x-rays, chiropractic care and cervical decompression therapy can be very effective tools in helping to heal shoulder pain. Chiropractic adjustments of the spine and shoulder in the correct manner with help to restore proper motion to allow the supporting muscles to restore balance. Cryotherapy is a good idea in the early stages to help with pain and inflammation. Home exercises are always necessary to assure that the shoulder muscles continue to receive proper motion and strengthen over time.
An alternative therapy offered in our clinic known as PEMF is an alternative type of therapy to allow the body to self heal. The treatment delivers an electromagnetic impulse to help reduce inflammatory mediators, increase cellular energy and promote tissue regeneration. This therapy has been shown to be aid in faster recovery times not only for new injuries but for old chronic ones as well.
In the event that the shoulder pain is too severe and cannot be helped with chiropractic care, then a referral to an orthopedist is recommended. Further testing with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most common to effectively diagnose which tissues of the shoulder are damaged. Physical therapy is possible for less severe cases but the vast majority of patients will go on to receive corticosteroid injections or surgery for full alleviation of shoulder pain. But no matter the case it is best to always consult with a doctor once shoulder pain is dictated. Never wait until the problem becomes too much to bear before taking action.
Don't continue to suffer with Shoulder Pain and allow it to affect your daily activities .
Let CORE Chiropractic help you get back on track with personalized chiropractic care, stretching & exercise recommendations, PEMF therapy and a custom treatment plan. Call today for your consultation, or schedule an appointment online.