A common misconception of chiropractic care is that it only is concerned with back and neck pain issues.
While it is true that the spine is a large focus, chiropractic can benefit all of the joints in the body, including elbows, ankles, knees, and shoulders.
The latter condition may be all too familiar to athletes, ranging from the elite to the weekend warrior.
Those who lift heavy objects may suffer shoulder problems, as well. Studies of the prevalence of shoulder pain have provided numbers ranging from 6.7 percent to as much as 66.7 percent, depending on whether current, one month, or lifetime shoulder pain are being studied.
Another study found prevalence anywhere from 2048 percent, depending upon how shoulder pain was defined.
What can cause shoulder problems?
Many shoulder problems result from overuse and straining the soft tissue of the shoulder. Over time, this can cause the tissue to break down, leading to shoulder problems.
In other cases, the actual shoulder joint itself may have shifted out of alignment.4 Although the most common shoulder problems are caused by overuse, other conditions can also be the culprit, including injuries or disease of the neck or spine, in which pain is felt in the shoulder.
Other causes for shoulder pain can include arthritis, fractures, or problems with the rotator cuff.
What is the standard treatment for shoulder problems?
In most cases, patients will receive recommendations that include resting the shoulder, either heat or ice depending upon the cause of the pain, wearing a shoulder sling, and gentle exercise or stretching exercises after a few days to increase range of motion. In some chronic or severe cases, such as a torn rotator cuff, surgery could be an option.
Instrument chiropractic care for shoulders
Different chiropractic techniques can be used depending upon the nature and cause of shoulder pain.
Cases in which the shoulder has actually come out of alignment may call for the use of an instrument for shifting the joint back into place. Adjusting the neck and back may also help the shoulder, particularly for problems with the rotator cuff.
The chiropractor may recommend changes to the patient’s sitting and standing posture, as well, which would help the shoulder hold its adjustment in the proper position, along with a regular schedule of maintenance treatments to keep the shoulder in its proper location.
Whether due to poor posture, a nagging sports injury, or dislocated pain from the neck or spine, shoulder pain that remains unaddressed can lead to severely reduced range of motion. Instrument adjusting provides a safe, fast, effective way to get the shoulders back into top shape.
Luime JJ1, Koes BW, Hendriksen IJ, et al. Prevalence and incidence of shoulder pain in the general population; a systematic review. Scand J Rheumatol 2004;33(2):73–81.
Pope D, Croft P, Pritchard C, Silman A. Prevalence of shoulder pain in the community: the influence of case definition. Ann Rheum Dis 1997;56(5):308–12.3National Institutes of Health. What Are Shoulder Problems? http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Shoulder_Problems/shoulder_problems_ff.asp. Updated June 2010. Accessed July 2014.
Vermillion, F. Chiropractic Relief for Shoulder Pain. Livestrong. http://www.livestrong.com/article/162436chiropracticreliefforshoulderpain/. Updated February 2014.
Accessed July 2014.