If you’ve ever injured your shoulder, you know how debilitating it can be. We use our shoulders for everything, whether consciously or not. There is no need to simply endure shoulder injuries with a smile. A visit to the chiropractor can bring much-needed relief.
Chiropractic for Shoulders
The shoulder is the largest joint in the human body and one of the most complicated. The complexity of the joint is one of the reasons that injuries to the shoulder are so common. The fact that the shoulder is used so frequently also contributes to incidents of injury. Shoulder injuries are the common result of vehicle accidents, sports impacts, and even simply sitting at a desk.
With the incidence of shoulder injury so high, it may be tempting to think that one simply has to grin and bear the pain. Fortunately, this isn’t true. Chiropractic care can help patients find relief and renewed range of motion without invasive treatment like surgery.
Which Shoulder Injuries Can a Chiropractor Treat?
While this list of common shoulder injuries is not comprehensive, it does represent a large percentage of problems with the joint.
- Arthritis—Arthritis is a chronic condition which inflames the joints. It is highly common amongst adults and can be caused by physical action (which is the case with osteoarthritis) or an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Frozen shoulder—Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, describes tightened and thickened connective tissue near the shoulder joint. It frequently results after other injuries to the shoulder and limits the joint’s mobility.
- Tendonitis—Tendonitis in the shoulder occurs when the tendons of the biceps or rotator cuff become irritated or inflamed. Tendonitis can be the result of dramatic physical injury or the simple repetitive motions of certain daily tasks. The condition heals slowly and painfully.
- Bursitis—Bursitis describes the inflammation or irritation of the bursa, the fluid-filled sac which protects the shoulder’s tendons. Restricted movement and even frozen shoulder can result.
- Pinched nerve—Shoulder injuries can lead to swelling or physiological shifting that can put pressure on the nerves in the shoulder. This “pinching” can cause pain to radiate down the entire arm.
- Damage to the rotator cuff—The rotator cuff includes the tendons and muscles that surround the shoulder joint and make lifting and rotating the arm possible. Injuries to the rotator cuff can include everything from spraining to tearing to gradual deterioration.
- Dislocation—Dislocations occur after trauma to the shoulder joint. The initial pain as the humerus pops out of the glenoid cavity is sharp followed by aching or even numbness. Partial dislocation is referred to as an AC joint subluxation. Dislocated joints are more vulnerable to repeat dislocation.
Can a Chiropractor Correct Shoulder Pain?
Chiropractors are doctors of the spine, but that also includes a deep understanding of the body’s skeletal and nervous systems. Chiropractic care is well-documented to help relieve the pain of shoulder injuries and improve alignment to avoid further damage. If you suffer from a shoulder injury, recent or past, reach out to visit your chiropractor today.
A recent study about treating frozen shoulder specifically saw complete resolution in 82% of cases. One of the best things to be said for chiropractic care and injured shoulders is that very little effort yields incredible relief. Without the invasive and expensive drawbacks of surgery, a chiropractor can improve range of motion by 10 degrees with just one visit.
When you visit the chiropractor for the treatment of a shoulder injury, the chiropractor will look at the problem holistically. Often problems in the shoulder stem from other areas of the body, including the spine. The doctor can correct past misalignments, yielding better health in more than just the shoulder.
The chiropractor is a specialist, so in addition to correcting alignment for pain relief, he or she can also advise strategies to strengthen your shoulder for the future. In this way, risk of further injury—including dislocation—is reduced. You can do nothing better to help your shoulders be healthy and strong.
How to Avoid Shoulder Pain
While avoiding pain completely is an unrealistic hope for anyone, there are strategies for minimizing your risk of shoulder injuries. The key is to keep your muscles strong and flexible. Limber muscles are less likely to tear or strain. Find strengthening exercises that work for you, and always stretch adequately, pushing yourself appropriately to improve flexibility. Working on your posture can also help keep your shoulders aligned properly so deskwork and other repetitive tasks don’t lead to discomfort or pain.