Shoulder Pain Treatment


If you want to find a shoulder pain treatment, we must first understand the anatomy of the shoulder itself.

The shoulder is a multiaxial spheroid joint which allows for its wide range of motion. The major joint within the shoulder is the glenohumeral joint which is stabilized by many underlying ligaments and muscles.

The other smaller joints include the acromio-clavicular, sterno-clavicular, 1st costovertebral, and the scapula-thoracic joint. All these joints together make up an unstable joint that can have tremendous strength.

The muscles of the shoulder are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis. These muscles are considered the rotator cuff which allow the shoulder great strength and range of motion. However, these muscles make the shoulder susceptible to injury. These injuries include cuff tears, impingement, and tendonitis.

The shoulder has shown to be tremendously complex to treating physicians. Pain and dysfunction can arise from other areas in the body such as the neck and cervical spine. Therefore; cervical spine conditions or dysfunction must be examined and ruled out.

Overhand throwing athletes, swimmers, and professionals such as carpenters, and painters are susceptible to shoulder pain.

The first step in beating shoulder pain is finding a professional that can provide you with answers, evaluate, and treat your problem.

Evaluating the shoulder should start with an exhaustive history of the chief complaint. Examination should be the next step. This includes various orthopedic, muscle strength, and neurological tests.

During the examination the chiropractor will check for joint dysfunction of the shoulder, upper thoracic spine, 1st rib, and cervical spine. Diagnostic imaging to view the integrity of the internal structures is optional.

Functional examination of the shoulder begins by testing the strength of the serratus anterior muscle; a key muscle in the function and stability of the shoulder. Other key muscles that should be tested are the rotator cuff muscles, and the pectoral minor muscle.

Treatment begins with manipulation of the key joints involved in shoulder pain. Muscle techniques such as Active Release Technique, or post-isometric relaxation will be used on overactive muscles of the shoulder.

A rehabilitation program should be constructed to regain function and proper biomechanics of the shoulder by strengthening the muscles found weak or inhibited by the treating chiropractor.

Following this shoulder pain treatment protocol can significantly improve your chances of getting shoulder pain relief through chiropractic care.

Written By: Steve Smiley, D.C.

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