Conditions: Shoulder Pain

Conditions: Shoulder Pain

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

In short the answer is bad movement and overloading. Most shoulder pain isn’t caused by dysfunction in the shoulder itself. When your shoulder doesn’t move how it was designed to, it puts excess strain on the muscles, ligaments, and labrum of the shoulder. That strain will eventually lead to pain, sometimes years later depending on how much you use your shoulders. If the problem causing the pain has been progressing for years it will take lots of time and work to reverse the tissue changes that have been taking place over those years. Your pain may go away quickly, but the underlying problem is still there.


The Reasoning Behind Our Approach

In order for your humerus (your arm) to be elevated the scapula (shoulder blade) needs to be able to rotate upwards. In order to rotate upwards the scapula needs to glide upwards on the ribcage. If the curve of your thoracic spine (upper back) is more or less than normal it changes the mechanics of your shoulder movement. Hence, when we work with shoulders we start at the foundation and work out: Correct the position and mobility of the thoracic spine, then ensure the scapula is elevating properly, and then check the shoulder itself. 


We use adjustments to improve the positioning of structures relating to the shoulder and to get the shoulder muscles to coordinate their movement properly. As needed, trigger point therapy, interferential current, and rehabilitative exercises will be prescribed to accelerate the healing process.


Rotator Cuff Tears, Tendinosis, Tendinopathy, Labral Tears, Etc.

These are problems with the structure of the shoulder and usually represent overloading over a long period of time or possibly trauma. We still address the cause of the overloading as good movement patterns decrease the burden on the shoulder and prevent reinjury. Similar to taking your hand off of the burning stove to keep your skin from continuing to get burned. Then we’ll support you and teach you how to walk the long journey of restoring the structure of your shoulder. 


Frozen Shoulder

This condition is characterized by severe loss of mobility on the shoulder. The scientific community isn’t sure what causes it, but one of the prevailing ideas is that the spinal accessory nerve causes the muscles governing the shoulder to seize up and you lose most of the mobility of your arm. Adjusting the neck in many cases has yielded at least short term results, which is where the case gets frustrating. We rarely don't see progress from the very first visit, but it isn't uncommon to take 6 months to get 100% better. Most cases resolve without treatment after 2 years 


If you use your shoulders often, come in so we can evaluate how well your shoulders move and we will make a plan with you to maintain their health.

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