Along with neck and back pain, shoulder problems are among some of the most common issues that a chiropractor will treat. The shoulder has a fairly complex anatomy, and while it is the most mobile joint in the human body, it is also one of the least stable. This makes the shoulder particularly susceptible to a wide range of injuries.
At the shoulder, you have a number of different tendons and ligaments that help to keep the shoulder stable while maintaining the full range of motion. In addition to this, the shoulder actually has two joints. You have the ball and socket joint where the humerus fits to the glenoid fossa, and you have the acromioclavicular joint at the top of the shoulder.
When it comes to shoulder pain or a lack of mobility at the shoulder, you have a number of different issues that could be the cause. In treating the shoulder, a chiropractor will need to perform an examination and ask a series of questions in order to assess the root cause of the pain.
Depending on the cause of the shoulder pain, various chiropractic techniques may be applied to address the problem. While most shoulder pain is the result of an issue with the shoulder itself, it is not uncommon for the pain to be the result of misalignment in the upper back or neck. The nerves that run through the shoulder and down into the arm can suffer from compression or inflammation near the neck and upper back. To relieve this pain, the chiropractor can perform adjustments to the spine and this should relieve some of the pain and discomfort.
Further, a chiropractor may need to perform adjustments to the shoulder itself. The socket of the shoulder joint is very shallow, and while this does allow for the great range of motion that the shoulder has, it also increases the risk of misalignment and dislocation. If the shoulder is misaligned, it can result in inflammation and irritation to the tendons and ligaments of the joint, and a chiropractor can correct this by performing gentle adjustments that will realign the joint.
With shoulder pain, poor posture and ergonomics can be a cause or contributing factor. The chiropractor may ask a series of questions to learn about your work life and they might assess your posture when you do things like work, use your mobile phone or sit and watch TV. To help relieve some of the pain, they might take steps to help correct issues with posture and ergonomics.
Exercise is another strategy that a chiropractor might commonly use to correct problems with mobility and pain in the shoulder. Depending on the problem, building strength in the muscles around the shoulder can improve stability, reduce pain and restore mobility. As an additional option, the chiropractor may also complement this by using physical therapy and massage.
A person’s sleeping habits can also aggravate shoulder pain. If the chiropractor believes this to be an issue, they might want to ask about your sleeping position, the type of mattress that you use and your pillows. To prevent shoulder pain in the future and possibly provide some additional relief, it might be recommended that the individual make some adjustments to the way that they sleep.
Chiropractic care can be a good solution to many of the most common shoulder problems. With shoulder pain, it is often a long-term problem, and if left unaddressed it can get worse. With some injuries, it may require the attention of an orthopedic surgeon, but this can often be avoided if the individual starts to address the problem early. By coming to a chiropractor, you could possibly avoid the need for treatments that involve drugs and surgery.
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