Painful conditions of the shoulder are a common musculoskeletal complaint. Shoulder problems range from a mild ache or sharp pain when performing certain activities or can be an excruciating, ongoing suffering with use of the shoulder or even at rest. This article will discuss the different types of shoulder conditions and possible solutions through chiropractic treatment.
Shoulder conditions are the third leading musculoskeletal problem for which patients complain. Two thirds of adults experience shoulder pain at some time in their life. The most common age to experience pain of the shoulder is middle-age (40-65 years). Chronic shoulder pain (discomfort lasting more than three months) is particularly prevalent.
The shoulder is a complex joint. Along with the thumb and hip it is one of only three joints in the human body that moves in every direction. It has a number of muscles and tendons associated with it. Three bones; the scapula/wing bone, the humerous/upper arm and the clavicle/collarbone makeup the bony part of the joint. There is a bursa found in the shoulder which keeps structures from rubbing against each other. There is a fibrous capsule that surrounds and contains all the structures of the joint and produces a lubricating fluid aiding with movement of the joint. So, we can see that many architectural items are involved in the anatomy of the joint.
There are a number of conditions that affect the shoulder such as rotator cuff syndrome which is a form of muscle and tendon problem, bursitis and tendinitis which are inflammation problems, impingement syndrome which causes pain when structures rub against each other and adhesive capsulitis which causes restriction of the shoulder movement sometimes resulting in a frozen shoulder.
Another very important aspect of the shoulder is that it is associated with our neck which is also called the cervical spine. There are nerves which exit openings between the bones of the cervical spine that go to the shoulder and give messages to various shoulder muscles to help the joint move properly and freely.
Frequently I see a patient who has gone to another doctor who has examined the patient for a shoulder problem. The patient gets treated by taking medication or having an injection into the shoulder but the pain continues. As a chiropractor my training is to not only look at the shoulder but also evaluate the association between the cervical spine and the shoulder joint.
If there is a misalignment or improper movement of the bones of the cervical spine it can affect the nerves controlling the shoulder. So, in addition to treating whatever is wrong with the shoulder I also correct the coexisting problem with the neck with chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors are doctors specializing in care of the spine by using chiropractic adjustments to help correct the cause of the problem. The majority of the time this type of treatment is successful in helping in managing various shoulder conditions.