Here at Morreale Chiropractic, we hear a lot of complaints related to shoulder pain, which is not surprising considering the relationship between the neck, upper back and shoulder. If you’ve been struggling with shoulder pain, then you understand how this can cause disruptions in your daily life or may even indicate deeper problems. Keep reading to educate yourself on what might be causing your shoulder pain and some guidelines for when to see a chiropractor for your pain.
What are the most common causes of shoulder pain?
As with any other type of pain, shoulder pain has a wide variety of possible causes. The four most common have to do with the part of the shoulder that is being affected and exactly how it is being affected.
As you can imagine, shoulder pain caused by tendonitis has to do with the tendons in the joint. A tendon is a cord of flexible tissue that connects a muscle to a bone, such as the rotator cuff tendons, which connect the humerus to a deep layer of muscles in the shoulder. Tendonitis pain may be caused by overuse (a baseball pitcher’s shoulder may develop acute tendonitis from the repeated pitching motion), or it may be caused by more significant wear, degenerative diseases affecting the tendons, and a torn tendon from an acute injury.
This type of shoulder pain is caused by the inflammation of the bursa within the shoulder. A bursa is a cavity, like a sac, that is filled with fluid and allows tissues within the shoulder to glide by one another without friction. When a bursa becomes swollen or inflamed, it causes pain and may significantly limit the shoulder’s range of motion. Bursitis can be caused by sudden, serious injuries, repetitive impacts, overuse, etc.
Instability / Injury
Repeated injuries may cause the shoulder to become unstable and painful. For example, someone who experiences recurrent dislocations may eventually find that the shoulder does not behave correctly. Perhaps his or her arm shakes when he or she moves it away from the body, or maybe it feels as if the shoulder is dislocating when he or she raises it up. Shoulders may just become unstable over time regardless of whether or not it has ever been dislocated.
Arthritis in its many forms is defined most simply as inflammation in a joint that causes stiffness and pain. In the shoulder, arthritis is typically caused by wear and tear that may or may not be caused by sports or work injuries and promotes inflammation. It may also be caused by the swelling of the joint lining. Sufferers of arthritis in the shoulder often experience painful limitations in the movement of the shoulder due to a generalized attempt to avoid pain by not moving the shoulder.
When should I seek chiropractic treatment?
Deciding when to see a chiropractor for pain can be tricky, especially if you’ve been in pain for a long time. You should see a chiropractor for your shoulder pain if:
- You are in an automobile accident. (Even minor accidents may cause problems.)
- You experience recurrent shoulder pain, even if it tends to go away for a spell.
- You notice signs of swelling around the shoulder joint.
- You experience pain for more than a just a few days.
- You are unable to lift or carry heavy objects.
- You experience shoulder pain while at rest.
- Your experience chronic shoulder pain.
The doctors at Morreale Chiropractic want to help you conquer your pain! Schedule your free consultation today.