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Shoulder Pain

What causes shoulder pain?

The shoulder joint includes four tendons that hold muscle to bone, called “rotator cuff” tendons. These help stabilize the upper arm bone to the shoulder socket and allow a wide range of motion in the shoulder, the most mobile joint in the body.

Shoulder pain: As with all complaints, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your shoulder pain so that appropriate treatment can be given. Treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem.

You should see a doctor if you experience the following:

1. Shoulder pain that persists beyond a few days

2. Injury that causes deformity of the joint

3. Shoulder pain at night

4. Inability to raise the arm

5. Inability to carry objects

6. Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm

7. Signs of an infection

8. Any other unusual symptoms

Types of shoulder pain:

Arthritis: Arthritis is a slow narrowing of the joints coupled with the loss of protective cartilage in a joint.

Bursitis: One of the most common diagnoses in patients with shoulder pain is bursitis or tendonitis of the rotator cuff. Bursitis is an inflammation of a fluid-filled sac, (bursa) which is located between a tendon and skin or between a tendon and bone. A bursa shields the joint and helps make movement more fluid.

Calcific Tendonitis: Calcific tendonitis is a situation where there are calcium deposits inside a tendon most commonly occurring within the rotator cuff tendons. The treatment of calcific tendonitis varies with the severity of the symptoms.

Rotator Cuff Tear: This injury occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff detach become damaged.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis: Tendonitis occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become compacted under the firm bony arch of the shoulder. These tendons become inflamed, causing pain. General wear and tear, activities that require constant shoulder use, or an injury can all lead to rotator cuff tendonitis.

Frozen Shoulder: Also called ‘adhesive capsulitis, is a common condition that includes stiffness in the shoulder joint.

Shoulder Instability: Either caused by an injury or a preexisting condition, shoulder instability causes a loose joint.

Shoulder Separation: These injuries are the result of an interruption of the acromioclavicular joint, and are sometimes referred to as AC separations.

Labral Tear: A Bankart lesion is a type of labral tear, frequently due to a dislocation of a joint; these lesions cause complications of persistent instability.

SLAP Lesion: The SLAP lesion is a form of labral tear. The most common cause is a fall onto an outstretched hand, hence its name.


How can chiropractic help my shoulder pain?

As with all pain, it is very important to document and understand the source of the pain, and the symptoms that go along with it. Treatment of shoulder pain, and all other pain depends completely on the cause of the problem.

Dr. Fullmer is a qualified extremity practitioner who can help you restore the health of your shoulder. Specialized techniques like adjustments and exercise restore alignment, help with mobility issues, relieve pain and discomfort. A chiropractor looks at your overall health, using an integrated approach that helps in finding the best treatment plan for you. Family history, lifestyle, cause of the problem, diet and exercise all play a part in finding the best course of treatment. To further help identify the cause of your problem, you and Dr. Fullmer may discuss your symptoms and previous injuries.


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