Shoulder injuries come in a variety of forms which range from mild to very severe in nature. In order to properly diagnose a shoulder injury, a detailed history, physical examination, and possible imaging is necessary. Chiropractors can conservatively treat many shoulder injuries and prevent the necessity for more invasive treatments.
A majority of shoulder injuries involve the rotator cuff which is a group of muscles which act to both stabilize and move the shoulder.
The four muscles of the rotator cuff are:
- the supraspinatus,
- teres minor, and
The shoulder is composed of several joints that must operate properly in order to allow for full range of motion. The upper thoracic spine also plays a major role in shoulder motion.
There are many possible mechanisms of shoulder injury which include: a hit to the front of the shoulder, falling on an outstretched arm, sudden traction of the arm, a fall onto the top of the shoulder, etc.
The treatment of shoulder injuries varies greatly depending on the type and extent of injury. It is imperative that following initial shoulder injury passive treatment, a proper and progressive rehabilitation program is performed to prevent joint instability and chronic dislocations. Posture also has a major effect on proper shoulder girdle function. Abnormal posture such as anterior shoulder or anterior head carriage puts excessive stress on the shoulder musculature which leads to susceptibility to shoulder injuries.
The Journal of Chiropractic Medicine researched cases where patients had acute shoulder pain, reduced range of motion, positive shoulder orthopedic tests, palpable tenderness, muscle spasm, and muscle weakness. They found that “There is the need for a non-surgical, conservative approach to treatment of shoulder problems before considering the more aggressive treatment approaches that carry greater iatrogenic risks. The patients’ signs and symptoms responded to a unique method of evaluation and manipulative therapy when other approaches had failed. The risk/benefit ratio suggests that conservative care be considered a potential option for similar conditions1.”
Dr. Max is an expert at treating shoulder injuries in Chicago. Call Irving Park Chiropractic at 773-880-0880 today to schedule an appointment.
1Donahue, T. “Manipulative Assessment and Treatment of the Shoulder Complex: Case Reports.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 2.4 (2003): 145-52.