All arm movements are dependent on a good, normal rhythmic movement between the shoulder blade, the back, the collarbone and the shoulder. If the shoulder mechanics do not function optimally, incorrect loads occur in the neck, back, shoulders and arms. On the other hand, problems in the neck, back, shoulders and arms can also lead to wrong loads in the shoulder. Shoulder disorders usually occur after an acute injury or due to prolonged improper loading.
The following are the typical shoulder conditions that the chiropractor can treat:
Shoulder myalgias are overstretched muscles in and around the shoulder. This is something most of us are familiar with. The chiropractor finds trigger points and treats these either by pressure on the painful points or by a special needle technique (dry needling).
Tendinitis in the shoulder (rotator cuff tendinitis) The rotator cuff consists of important, stabilizing muscles on the back of the shoulder - and a larger stabilizing muscle on the front. These muscles are "never off" because they stabilize the shoulder both when the shoulder is moved and when it is held still. When a tendon is overloaded acutely or over time, it becomes inflamed, often causing pain in it when the shoulder is used. The tendon can become thickened and raised so that it can become pinched under the outer edge of the shoulder blade when the arm is raised. This is called impingement syndrome and is the most common cause of pain and limitation of movement in the shoulder. The pain is sharp when lifting the arm, and often the pain can extend into the arm.
Bursitis in the shoulder (subacromial bursitis)
Between the large shoulder girdle muscle (deltoid) and the rotator cuff is a mucous sac that lubricates the movement between the muscles and tendons. If this becomes inflamed, the pain can be severe due to very tight space conditions. Here, the pain will also be present when the shoulder is at rest - such as at night.
Calcifications in the shoulder
With long-term inflammation of the tendons or bursae of the shoulder, scar tissue and calcifications occur along the tendons in the rotator cuff. These calcifications can be seen on X-rays and can cause chronic shoulder pain and restricted range of motion.
Frozen shoulder usually occurs as a spontaneous and unexplained reaction in people (40 to 60 years old) who have had shoulder problems in the past. A frozen shoulder is extremely painful for the first few weeks, then slips into a longer period of many months with little or no pain, but with increasingly restricted range of motion. Most people regain mobility within one to two years.
In the case of shoulder disorders, in order to relieve pain, your therapist will work to reduce the inflammatory reaction, increase the blood supply, and restore normal movement in the neck, shoulder blade, collarbone and shoulder joint. It is important to get a correct diagnosis as early as possible, so that correct treatment, counseling and self-effort in the form of exercise training can be initiated. After shoulder problems, subsequent rehabilitation and training are often an essential part of the treatment.