Treatable Conditions | Shoulder Pain

Shoulder Injuries . . . We Treat 'Em!

Shoulder Joints: More Mobility = More Injuries.

A Common Site for Pain & Injury

It comes as no surprise, as the most mobile joint in the human body - the shoulder also is of the least stable joints. Repetitive stress activities (especially in the overhead position) often overstress the muscles, ligaments and the capsule of the shoulder. 

  1. Some individuals are also predisposed structurally to problems with the shoulder that may be exacerbated by certain activity.
  2. Sports and athletic activities (I.e. weight lifting, swimming, throwing) are commonly the cause of shoulder injuries.
  3. Even mundane tasks can irritate the shoulder (think: vacuuming, yard work, computer work, et al.).

The Shoulder Joint

The shoulder joint is composed of three joints. Often the crackling sounds heard on shoulder motion originate from the joints of the clavicle (collar bone) with the sternum and shoulder blade.

  • Previously injured A-C joints (see below) are especially prone to crackling and popping with shoulder motion. 
  • The joints of the shoulder are not very strong and rely almost totally on muscles/ligaments of both the rotator cuff and shoulder to provide strength and stability. 

Common Conditions of the Shoulder

Impingement Syndrome (aka Bursitis)

Bursitis is often caused by overhead work / sports activities (swimming, overhead racket sports), with pain usually felt at the front of the shoulder - and worsening with any overhead activity or exercise.  A limited range of motion is also common.  

Treatment involves specific exercises to strengthen the rotator cuff as well as specific stretches.   Myofascial release techniques are often very helpful in cases of impingement.  Case-specific exercise routines are also recommended (ones that strengthen the rotator cuff and reduce contact with the clavicle). Chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder helps reduce irritation/pain of the rotator cuff. We recommend limiting activities that require overhead movement, and to use ice after work or exercise. 

Adhesive Capsulitis

Adhesive capsulitis is a mysterious condition of unknown cause that primarily effects people over the age of forty (40) and often includes pain that limits shoulder movement. Some people may be predisposed to adhesive capsulitis (I.e. those with diabetes, thyroid conditions, or lung ailments).

Management of adhesive capsulitis involves gentle Chiropractic manipulation of the shoulder to reduce adhesions in the shoulder joint combined with a specific exercise regimen to help reduce pain and improve the shoulder's range of motion. 

Biceps Tendonitis

Usually identified by pain in the front of the shoulder, this condition occurs when the tendon of the biceps becomes irritated - usually by strenuous activities involving forward raising of the arm (I.e. bench press, forward raises) but also more mundane activities like vacuuming or office work.  Throwing motions are particularly irritating to the biceps tendon.

Myofascial release is the treatment of choice for Biceps Tendonitis, often reducing inflammation of the tendon and increasing flexibility of the biceps. We also recommend using ice and avoiding any additional aggravating activities. 

Tear of the Glenoid Labrum

The glenoid labrum is composed of cartilage and helps to stabilize the shoulder (much like the meniscus in the knee).  The labrum may often be torn due to traumatic injury or in dislocation of the shoulder.  Labrum tears result in sudden pain and often cause a feeling of instability of the shoulder. Labrum tears are most often treated surgically.

A-C Joint Separation

As the joint at the top of the shoulder between the clavicle (collar bone) and the scapula (shoulder blade), A-C joint separations most often result from a falling injury on the point of the shoulder (as well this may fracture the clavicle).  This injury is more common in road-biking racers (as suffered by Lance Armstrong).

If you're fed up with shoulder pain want to feel better, be pain-free, and have the full range of motion and use of your shoulder and arm, call our office in Ponca today at 402-755-4111.

Etter Chiropractic and Acupuncture provides chiropractic care and acupuncture to clients in the Ponca, NE and KC areas since 2001.

Ponca Office: 111 Union St., Ponca, NE
Phone: 402-755-4111
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8am-6pm, Saturday: 8am-12pm, Sunday: By Appt.
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