If you’ve ever experienced pain just lifting an arm out to the side, you can most likely blame it on a torn tendon that caused fluid-filled sacs in the area to swell, leading to impingement. It’s no fun, but did you know that shoulder pain is actually incredibly common? What’s more, did you know that chiropractic care can help?
As straightforward as it may seem from the outside, the shoulder is a complex part of the body. There are several joints, quite a few muscles and lots of connective tendons. If you strain a muscle or tendon in the shoulder and see a doctor, it may be classified as mild, moderation or severe, or as a first, second, or third degree tear.
Your shoulder pain could be from any number of causes, including:
- Frozen shoulder
- Sports injury
- Joint instability
- Pinched nerves
The shoulder joint is not particularly stable, so certain professions, sports and activities will put people at greater risk of shoulder pain. Think football players or carpenters. If you smoke, have diabetes and/or have an overactive thyroid, you could also have a higher risk of causing injury to your shoulder. Studies have shown that it’s not an injury limited to younger, more active people.
To diagnose the cause of shoulder pain, a doctor will often ask about the origin of the pain. A range of motion measurement and (uncomfortable!) tests to see which positions cause more pain, plus an X-ray to check for dislocation and/or fracture or an MRI to screen for soft-tissue injuries may also be performed.
If your shoulder pain is irritating and uncomfortable, but you wouldn’t classify it as a medical emergency, consider non-surgical treatments as a first option. A chiropractor like Dr. McSweeney can prescribe exercise and self-management strategies to heal and strengthen the shoulder, as well as assess your need for manual manipulation, mobilization and other techniques. It’s important to understand that shoulder pain won’t go away overnight. It’s the type of injury that needs lots of time for recovery.
If you’ve been dealing with shoulder pain, you may benefit from a short consultation with Dr. McSweeney. At the very least, you’ll have more information about your injury than you do now.