Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chiropractic Treatment of the Shoulder

Many of today’s most-common aches and pains are related to the conditions in our work environment. The classic workstation posture of hunching over a desk and/or computer has created scores of patients with chronic and acute shoulder pain. Shoulder pain can be debilitating and solutions can be elusive. As a Chicago Chicago chiropractor, I can tell you that the suffering needn’t continue – there are solutions to your pain.

Chiropractors specialize in treatment of joint disorders so, naturally, aside from the back and neck pain which is our “bread and butter”, we routinely see issues with all joints of the body, including their associated structures (muscle, tendon, ligament, bursa, fascia). We have great success remedying sore shoulders, knees, ankles, thumbs, ribs and even TMJ (temporomandibular or “jaw” pain).

It is not uncommon for patients to present to my office complaining of shoulder pain. The most common shoulder injury is rotator cuff tendonitis. The rotator cuff muscles are four muscles around the shoulder which anchor and stabilize the shoulder and shoulder blade (collectively known as the shoulder complex). Of these rotator cuff muscles the infraspinatus, supraspinatus and teres minor muscles and the most commonly injured of all shoulder muscles. These muscles are the most susceptible to tendonitis injury. This is because, as shoulder stabilizers, they are always in use and so tension is developing in them every day. In addition, these are muscles that are rarely stretched through their full range so they tend to be too short.
Biceps tendonitis is another common shoulder injury that responds well to chiropractic care. The biceps is a muscle that is used daily to lift and carry. It is commonly injured because, being at full extension with a straight arm, it is very difficult to stretch. There is a technique for stretching the biceps muscle that involves anchoring the bicep muscle and then stretching it. This is best achieved with the help of a qualified chiropractor.
Tendonitis occurs when the muscle spasms or shortens through repetitive use and exerts such pull on the tendon that it strains the tendon. This is accompanied by inflammation and pain. This ailment is quite easily corrected with the use of chiropractic adjustments, muscle release techniques and tendon release techniques. Treatment of most tendonitis injuries lasts for four to six weeks.
Some people have the misfortune of suffering from a frozen shoulder (medically: adhesive capsulitis). This is a very painful and debilitating condition. It is characterized by either a long-term untreated shoulder injury like rotator cuff syndrome, or by several different shoulder injuries occurring simultaneously resulting in significant reduction of movement in the shoulder due to pain, weakness and stiffness. Treatment of this painful condition involves intensive massage, specific and targeted stretching and chiropractic adjustments.
Other common causes of shoulder injuries include referral of pain from neck or thoracic subluxations to the shoulder area, impingement syndromes in which a nerve(s) are “pinched” by some other anatomical structure (ie. in bursitis), rotator cuff tears in the elderly or young (associated with severe trauma and often dislocation), and osteoarthritis. All of the above conditions can be treated successfully with chiropractic care.
It is important to seek treatment from your Chicago chiropractor when dealing with shoulder pain. We can diagnose and remedy your condition quickly and conservatively at the root of the problem. This way, we can save you from unnecessary surgery or having to take medications which only mask your symptoms and increase the probability of a recurrence of your condition.


  1. I agree with you. Work is bad for our health. It just gives you pains and aches, mostly physically. I went to a fascial stretch therapy for these problems, because they were starting to be a lot painful I needed to do something about all that joint pain and release that work-caused stress.

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