Shoulderpain can have a number of causes. Often, the shoulder is injured through sports activities, overuse, or trauma such as a car accident or a fall. While some extreme cases will obviously need a surgical solution, many of the everyday shoulder injuries will respond to conservative care and rehabilitation and not necessitate risky surgery.
Many of the rotator cuff injuries to the shoulder involve minor tears which can be rehabilitated through a combination of activity alteration, soft tissue techniques, strengthening and stretching, and manipulation of the affected joints.
The shoulder consist of four joints. Either end of the clavicle - the sternoclavicular and acromioclavicular joints - can become fixated, or stuck. This can affect the range of motion of the entire shoulder arm complex. These conditions respond quickly and well to manipulative techniques.
The next joint is the glenohumeral joint., the actual "shoulder" joint. At this joint you can experience tears in the muscles around the joint, impingement of muscles moving the joint as in a supraspinatus impingement, or internal disruption of the joint such as a glenoid labrum tear. The non-internal joint problems will respond well to a mixture of conservative treatments and may elimate the necessity of surgery. Even in those case where surgery may ultimately be needed, conservative treatments of the shoulder may result in a better surgical outcome by strengthening and improving shoulder flexibilty prior to surgery.
Finally, the last joint is the scapulothoracic joint. This is the "joint" formed by the floation of the shoulder blade, or scapula, on the rib cage. There are a number of muscles that attach the shoulder blade to the upper back and initiate, restrict, and coordinate movements between the scapulothoracic joint and the rest of the shoulder complex. Myofascial and muscular injuries in this area can be related to dysfunction in the cervical (neck) and upper thoracic (upper back) spine and produce symptoms into the arm. These symptoms are often misinterpreted as pain generated by pinched nerves when they actually arise from the muscle and connective tissue in the upper back.
While not all these conditions will respond completely to chiropractic care, many shoulder and upper arm complaints do very well with our conservative care and do not need more aggressive therapies. If you have leg shoulder pain and are looking for help in Conway, North Conway, or the Mount Washington Valley, , let us evaluate your complaint and see if chiropractic care may be of benefit to you.