Unfortunately, shoulder pain is just a part of life. As the most mobile joint in the entire body, you ask your shoulder to do a lot. With 360 degrees of motion and the power to lift, pull, and push, the moving parts of the shoulder are constantly under stress. In the information below, you will learn why the shoulder is so special, how it can be damaged, and what you can do to once again enjoy life free from shoulder pain.
Complexity in Motion
The shoulder is the body’s ultra-intricate intersection of ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bone. The joint between the arm bone and shoulder blade is actually very shallow, allowing your arm to be nearly omni-directional. Surrounding this joint are four muscles that, together, make up the rotator cuff. To top it off, the shoulder also houses some very important sacs of fluid that also assist in the movement of the arm.
Because the construction of your shoulder is so extensive, injuries and pain in your shoulder can be wide and varied. As Jodi Helmer of AARP.org points out, “All shoulder pain is not created equal.”
The Main Culprits of Shoulder Pain
Much like generalized back pain, shoulder pain can be chronic, acute, tender, intense, specific, or broad. Following are the most common causes of shoulder pain:
1. Rotator Cuff Damage
Most rotator cuff damage is due to just normal wear and tear. This pain generally occurs when the tendons and muscles in the rotator cuff become inflamed from overuse or injury. The tendons can actually become pinched between bones, and cause great pain. The professionals at FamilyDoctor.org say, “The pain can be bad enough to keep you from doing even the simplest of tasks,” and that, “the pain [at night] may be bad enough to wake you.” You will feel this pain most often when reaching overhead or sleep on the affected side.
This dull aching sensation happens when the small fluid-filled sacs that cushion joints become swollen or damaged. Often due to repetitive motion – in sports, chores, or from constant lifting – this pain can be most often felt when moving the arms sideways away from the body. Bursitis can be treated in a variety of ways. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, says, “Acupuncture can provide symptomatic relief of the pain of bursitis and is much safer than anti-inflammatory drugs or injections of steroids.”
3. Frozen Shoulder
Most common in women over the age of 50, this condition is characterized by pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint even when the shoulder is at rest. Both the pain and stiffness of frozen shoulder will, if left untreated, worsen over time. Eventually, frozen shoulder can lead to constant pain and almost complete immobility of the affected arm. The US National Library of Medicine conducted a case series in which they concluded, “Most patients with frozen shoulder syndrome…appeared to improve with the chiropractic treatment.”
The Benefits of Intuitive Chiropractic Care
The professionals at South Orange Chiropractic Center provide leading edge care that helps people live healthy, productive lives. Their intuitive approach to relief and therapy can help you begin shoulder rehabilitation today.