There is a reason why we associate the burdens that are carried as “the weight of the world on the shoulders.” From what we have seen at Life Source Chiropractic, this is not merely a metaphor. Shoulders are necessary for a wide variety of functions that most of us do without thinking until they become painful according to our shoulder pain chiropractor.
Daily activities like waving to a friend or carrying a laundry basket can become a challenge when shoulder pain strikes. Because the shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body, it is no surprise that chiropractic for shoulder pain is very common at our practice. The information provided here is intended to assist patients of our chiropractor for shoulder pain in making decisions that will benefit their overall well-being.
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Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
There are a variety of causes for shoulder pain, some of which can be related to the position of the shoulder. Tension in the neck or upper back can result in the impairment of one or both shoulders. This can be a result of trying to work around neck or upper back problems by using unhealthy movement compensations. Under these circumstances, shoulder pain chiropractic care focuses not only on the shoulder but also on any other painful areas surrounding it.
The spine can also interfere with appropriate shoulder function. All of our patients are aware that the spine plays a key role in controlling pain and regulating brain-body communication. Spinal misalignment is likely to cause nerve aggravation, pain, and large-scale dysfunction.
Many patients have found Life Source Chiropractic by searching the internet for a “chiropractor for shoulder pain near me” after they were involved in a fall or car accident. Although whiplash is most often associated with car accident injuries, shoulder pain is also a prevalent reason why people seek chiropractic care. We have been able to help many patients with shoulder pain that have come to our office with a variety of nerve, muscle, and bone injuries following an accident.
Among our elderly patients, arthritis is a prominent cause of pain and dysfunction, as are accidental falls. Similar to the hip, the shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint, so it can also result in “wear-and-tear” problems including osteoarthritis. It can also be affected by autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis which can result in pain and disability of the shoulders.
Shoulder pain can be exacerbated by neck, back, or other injuries that are left unresolved. Many times these issues are due to mobility compensations that people make to protect another body part that is not functioning properly. Sometimes a person discovers a movement that lessens pain in one location but aggravates pain in the shoulders or other parts of the body. This is what we refer to as “guarded movement.” However, nothing is protected. Simply put, it denies our patients the freedom to move without pain.
Shoulder pain can also be caused by a stroke. According to the American Stroke Association, shoulder pain occurs in 84% of stroke survivors. The typical cause of this pain is due to a shoulder misalignment, or subluxation. This form of shoulder misalignment is also accompanied by weakness, making mobility especially challenging for patients recovering from a stroke.
Symptoms of Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain is usually brought on by an accident, repetitive muscle strain, or overexertion during a sporting event. However, it does not always have an obvious cause. Sometimes patients suddenly develop extreme pain or difficulty moving the shoulder. Additionally, shoulder pain can start subtly and get worse over a long period of time.
Nerve dysfunction can cause shoulder pain to radiate to neighboring regions of the body. Because the nerves control sensation and mobility, nerve-related pain can be unbearable. Damaged nerve connections between the shoulder and spine can cause pain, inflammation, mobility issues, and tingling or “pins-and-needles” sensations. According to our shoulder pain chiropractor, the arms, hands, and fingers can also be affected by these symptoms.
Some Life Source Chiropractic patients have described shoulder pain as a sharp, stabbing pain under the shoulder blade as well as just a dull ache in the shoulder area. Other patients have reported a generalized discomfort in the neck, upper arms, and upper back. Patients often seek chiropractic for shoulder pain care since this type of pain can sometimes be difficult to define.
When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention for Shoulder Pain
Our chiropractor for shoulder pain advises patients that the pain is not always what it seems to be. Shoulder pain can be the sign of cardiac arrest, in which case emergency medical care should be obtained immediately. The body’s attempt at minimizing damage to the heart by pumping as much blood as possible to the area during a heart attack results in other parts of the body, including the shoulder, to become painful due to a lack of oxygen-rich blood circulation in the area.
A common misconception is that heart attack victims experience pain in the left shoulder only. In fact, both shoulders or neither shoulder may experience pain. This is especially true in women, who are much more likely to suffer from symptoms such as back pain, jaw pain, shortness of breath, and nausea and vomiting during a heart attack.
How Chiropractic Works to Eliminate Shoulder Pain
Shoulder pain chiropractic care works to resolve pain by focusing on the underlying issues. Our approach to care varies due to its many different causes. The interventions and therapies our shoulder pain chiropractor uses are also influenced by the needs and desires of our patients.
One thing that never varies from patient-to-patient is our dedication to compassionate, non-invasive care. We prefer a holistic approach to care and work hard to help our patients avoid the use of habit-forming prescription pain medications whenever possible. In order to improve overall function and increase the body’s natural healing capabilities, chiropractic for shoulder pain targets the root causes of pain.
Shoulder Pain Treatment
Our chiropractor for shoulder pain develops a customized care plan for each individual patient and does not apply a “cookie-cutter” approach to care. However, there are some scientifically proven techniques we utilize at Life Source Chiropractic that help many of our patients achieve the results they are looking for. Some of these include soft tissue work, chiropractic adjustments, and comprehensive health coaching.
Soft Tissue Work
Soft tissue work releases muscular tension that prevents the shoulder from properly functioning, and it also relieves discomfort. We commonly use certain soft tissue techniques in order to free the muscles from any scar tissue that can restrict mobility. As function improves, pain usually diminishes.
Spinal and Other Chiropractic Adjustments
Nerve-related shoulder pain can be reduced using chiropractic adjustment. Shoulder pain chiropractic works to eliminate subluxations in the spine. Subluxations are areas of misalignment that can cause compression of the nerves inside or outside of the spinal cord. This affects nerve function, which is necessary for brain-body communication, including the sensation of pain.
Although spinal adjustments play a substantial role in chiropractic care, they are not the only adjustments we conduct. A subluxation in the shoulder is characterized by extra space between the shoulder and arm bone. By manually minimizing this space, we can resolve these subluxations and relieve pain while also restoring function.
Holistic Health Coaching and Rehabilitative Therapy
The most essential interventions offered at Life Source Chiropractic are holistic health coaching and rehabilitative therapy. Although this may seem like a bold statement, it is supported by both our clinical experiences and scientific literature. A diet high in vitamins, minerals, trace elements, and phytochemicals can support the development of a stronger spine, healthier body, and more finely tuned nerves.
Rehabilitative therapy, or exercise, is just as crucial to health as what we put into the body. We develop a customized rehabilitative therapy program for every patient that is designed to enhance mobility, strength, and balance. This promotes recovery while also preventing future injuries in the same area.
Since the mind and body are closely related, we also provide instruction for mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques. According to research, this type of approach can reduce levels of harmful stress hormones like cortisol. This is important because high cortisol levels affect metabolism, disrupt sleep-wake cycles, and elevate blood pressure.