Shoulder Pain and Chiropractic Care

Posted by on Apr 6, 2011 in Health Tips/Information | Comments Off on Shoulder Pain and Chiropractic Care

Santa Barbara Chiropractor James NearyDo you ever have problems carrying objects or using your arm? Have you ever had pain while sleeping or at rest? The pain can be local and just in and around the shoulder joint, or it may be referred and going down the arm and possibly into the hand, or into the middle back and lower neck area.

Painful shoulder problems are a common reason for chiropractic visits. The shoulder has the most movement of the major joints in the body and is highly susceptible to injury. On rare occasion, shoulder pain may be caused by some form of pathology or tumor inside the body. A comprehensive evaluation that would include a personal history, a complete physical examination, orthopedic and neurological examination and if required x-rays and possibly advanced imaging to determine the exact cause of the pain. If any of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons have a tear, you may need an immediate referral for an MRI and a visit to an orthopedic specialist.

Sometimes shoulder pain can be due to problems in your neck or any mixture of a number of problems. Shoulder pain can happen as a result of degeneration in the spine or injury to the cervical (neck) or thoracic (upper back) spine. Degenerative disks narrow the joint space between two vertebrae, causing increased irritation and pinching on the nerves. Those nerves leave the neck or upper back area and go into the shoulders and arms, or provide the nerve supply of muscles that are around the shoulder girdle. This type of damage can cause referred pain into the shoulder area.

Neck pain as a result of degenerative change is relatively common. The pain may radiate, or spread, into the shoulder blade or down the arm. Patients may have an arm or shoulder complaint, such as a pain or weakness as the result of nerve root compression. Symptoms may include neck pain, pain around the back of the shoulder blades, arm complaints such as pain, numbness, or weakness, and rarely, difficulty with hand dexterity or walking. Chiropractic adjustments can be useful in decreasing muscle spasms and improving mobility. Heat and exercise may also have benefit in improving function and stabilizing the degenerative area. In some cases surgery may be necessary.

There are many causes of should pain. Once the cause is discovered, treatment can vary from person to person and involve any of the following methods: chiropractic, massage therapy and surgery in some cases. The response to treatment, including the length of time, varies from person to person, depending on the level of damage. Chiropractic care can be a safe, gentle, and effective approach to helping with shoulder pain.

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