Many people have poor posture and suffer because of it every day. Most people don’t realize that they have poor posture. For instance, we can adopt poor posture when working, sitting, driving, watching television or even reading without realizing it.
There are also a variety of health issues associated with poor posture such as neck, back and shoulder pain. Shoulder pain can make life miserable, especially if you have a physically demanding job. Fortunately, shoulder pain can be treated. Read on to find out the common causes of shoulder pain and how chiropractic help can treat it.
What Causes Shoulder Pain?
The shoulder is made of 3 bones: the shoulder blade (scapula), the upper arm bone (humerus) and the collarbone (clavicle). Keeping everything in place are a group of muscles and tendons. There are a variety of problems you could have that could cause shoulder pain. Identifying the problem is important.
Shoulder problems are commonly caused by these issues:
- Arthritis: Shoulder arthritis is a gradual narrowing of the joint spaces and loss of protective cartilage in the joints of the shoulder.
- Biceps Tendon Rupture: A proximal biceps tendon rupture occurs when the tendon of the biceps muscle ruptures near the joint.
- Calcific Tendonitis: Calcific tendonitis is a condition that involves calcium deposits within a tendon. Treatment of calcific tendonitis depends on the extent of symptoms.
- Bursitis: Bursitis is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac, or bursa, that lies between tendon and skin or between tendon and bone.
- Forward Head Posture: Forward head posture is the anterior positioning of the neck (cervical spine). This problem can be caused by sleeping with your head elevated, reading for a prolonged period as well as sitting at a computer. Forward head posture can cause shoulder pain and a tingling in the arms.
- Frozen Shoulder: Also called “adhesive capsulitis”, this is a common condition that leads to stiffness of the joint after the connective tissue around it gets inflamed.
- Labral Tear: The labrum is a fibrous tissue that helps connect the ball and socket of the shoulder together. When the ball of the shoulder (head of the humerus) moves around in the socket too much it stretches the attached soft tissue structures and can tear the labrum.
- Bankart Lesion: A Bankart lesion is a type of labral tear that occurs most commonly as a result of dislocation of the joint. Bankart lesions cause problems of persistent instability.
- SLAP Lesion: The SLAP lesion stands for “superior labral tear from anterior to posterior” and is thus also a type of labral tear. The most common cause is a fall onto an outstretched hand.
- Rotator Cuff Tear: A Rotator cuff tear occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff separate from the bone.
- Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Tendonitis is when tendons become compressed under the rigid bony arch of the shoulder. The compressed tendons become inflamed or damaged and cause pain. This can occur from general wear and tear, an activity that requires constant shoulder use like baseball pitching, or an injury.
- Shoulder Dislocation: A dislocation is an injury that occurs when the top of the arm bone becomes disconnected from the scapula.
- Shoulder Instability: Instability is a problem that causes a loose joint. Instability can be caused by a traumatic injury or may develop over time. It can lead to labral injury and arthritis.
- Shoulder Separation: Also called an AC separation, these injuries are the result of a disruption of the acromioclavicular joint.
How Visiting a Chiropractor Can Help
It is important to identify the symptoms you are suffering from so that a chiropractor can correctly treat the shoulder pain. Therefore, if you are suffering from shoulder pain, make sure you visit a qualified healthcare provider so that you can have the condition correctly identified and receive proper treatment.
Some shoulder problems listed above may require surgery, such as severe cases of arthritis and rotator cuff injuries, while most others can be treated through therapy and rehabilitative exercise programs.
Rather than focusing on your shoulder as an isolated body part, a chiropractor will look at your overall health and will consider your problem in its context. The chiropractor might ask about your work station, sitting habits at home, driving posture, diet and the amount of exercise you do daily. By doing this, the chiropractor will be able to determine the best treatment for the shoulder pain. The chiropractor will also help identify the problem by asking about your symptoms, any previous injuries and your lifestyle, such as work and recreational activities.
Chiropractors are highly skilled and will be able to help restore the health of your spinal and extremity joints. They have many techniques that can relieve the pressure build-up in your shoulders that is causing you pain. This is done by locating vertebral and extremity joints that have decreased range of motion and manually applying pressure to them to help restore mobility and relieve pain and stiffness.
A sports chiropractor can apply myofascial release to the attached soft tissue structures associated with your shoulder complaint. Myofascial release therapy can help decrease soft tissue tension which will improve joint range of motion and decrease pain.
There may be other types of treatments your chiropractor may recommend for relieving your shoulder pain, such as ice packs, stretching and strengthening exercises. Many of these treatments you can learn to do at home or in the gym and will help you maintain your progress between chiropractic visits.