I recently had someone ask me if I treat shoulders. The treatment that chiropractors are best known for is back pain and neck pain. This is great but for me really falls short of describing what I do every day. One of the things I love most about my job is the variety of problems I see daily and my ability to problem solve for them and help patients get the care and treatment they need to heal.
I had a patient recently who came to me after having care for a shoulder injury for three months somewhere else. He told me that he was no better at all and still had trouble sleeping despite the care he received. We did an examination and I diagnosed him with a rotator cuff problem – specifically a possible small tear in the supraspinatus muscle (one of four muscles the rotator cuff). He had been given exercise, ultrasound and some massage already but hadn’t seen improvement.
What I do differently is examine the whole spine as well as the shoulder and add treatment that also involves much more hands on therapy and support for the spine – the shoulder doesn’t float around in space it is attached to the skeleton by muscles – muscles that get tight, angry and irritate all of the joints surrounding them. Irritated joints tend to cause inflammation. More inflammation causes more tightness in the muscles – a vicious cycle that we need to break.
Pain from rotator cuff problems can refer down the arm, into the hand, into the upper back and neck and can even cause headaches. This can cause decreased range of motion of the shoulder and weakness in the arm. I love treating shoulders because the results can be super dramatic.
Within 2 weeks of seeing the patient I was talking about he told me he felt 80% better and his range of motion was amazing and almost 100% better. He told me he could sleep again at night and started bringing me lunch because he loved to cook and was able to do that again.
Please don’t live with shoulder pain – it usually gets worse and sometimes turns into a frozen shoulder which is often much harder to treat and takes much longer to heal. I would love to help you.