Chiropractic Care and Shoulder Pain…Moving Better Through Your Spine is Critical!

Shoulder pain is quite common in young people who weight train or do HIIT classes. Often, shoulder pain manifests, but is not limited to….clicking, popping, achiness, stiffness, and tightness with pain shooting/referring to one’s neck to name a few. The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint allowing for more mobility, and not a great deal of stability due to great amount of movement. Shoulder pain often develops from either a lack of neck or trunk (middle back) movement. The middle back acts as a propellor for the shoulder to help stabilize and support the shoulder girdle. If one lacks movement in your middle back, you are likely going to compensate through your shoulder and/or neck.

It is important to address shoulder pain and discomfort as quickly as one can to avoid you from compensating through your shoulder limiting you when you exercise, weight train, or even sleep. Chiropractic care helps shoulder pain as it improves mechanics, flexibility, movement, and function when an injury occurs.

Chiropractic care begins with a thorough exam. The chiropractor needs to evaluate your neck, middle back, and shoulder to determine the exact nature of your shoulder pain. Examining and assessing muscle strength, range of motion, and performing several orthopedic tests in these 3 regions can better identify the exact nature of your shoulder pain. Also, functional tests that mimic normal movement (ie raising your arms up above your head slowly while standing) determine any compensating patterns one developed or exhibited leading to their shoulder injury.

Chiropractic manipulation of the neck, upper & middle back, and shoulder will improve mobility, flexibility, and active range of motion. Corrective exercises should focus on shoulder stability, trunk mobility (especially in rotation, and extension), and core activation & stabilization. These exercises will take time to incorporate due to having to address these slowly. Lastly, an ART certified chiropractor can address the soft tissue complaints associated with your shoulder pain. Stretching and breaking the adhesions present in your shoulder, upper and middle back, and neck will enhance range of motion and flexibility in these areas too. Application of Kinesiotape to the shoulder once the correct diagnosis is made will further support and reinforce proper movement(s) of the shoulder providing more ease when exercising and/or performing one’s daily activities. These different treatment approaches should allow the chiropractor to treat your shoulder pain efficiently and avoid future long-term consequences.

Addressing shoulder pain before it worsens must include evaluation and treatment to the spine (neck, upper back, and middle back) in order to prevent future episodes from recurring.


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