Shoulder pain is usually localized in or around a small tunnel, called the rotator cuff, through which 4 tendons devoted to shoulder movement pass.
Common causes include:
- Overuse/repetitive trauma
- Accident/acute trauma
- Degenerative change/arthritis
Rotator cuff tendonitis can be achingly painful and greatly limit movement of the arm above shoulder height, also known as “frozen shoulder.” Frequently a patient may wake up with shoulder pain without any immediately known cause, which may suggest overuse tendonitis or something known as impingement syndrome, in which nerves and/or muscles involved in lifting the arm forward or to the side become pinched.
Relief from rotator cuff tendonitis includes appropriate adjustment of the upper vertebrae to release impinged nerves, physical therapy including ultrasound and ice, stretching and mobility exercises, and proper rest, along with new ergonomic practices to help prevent its recurrence.
Another common shoulder malady is bursitis, in which the tiny sacs that act as cushions between bones, muscles and tendons, become inflamed due to quick, violent or frequent motions, and can cause sharp or burning pain.
Shoulder pain can also be caused by a condition involving the acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which is vital in certain shoulder actions. When the AC joint’s components become enlarged due to degenerative arthritis, certain nerve paths and/or the rotator cuff can become pinched, causing distress.
Other shoulder injuries include muscle strain or sprain. Discovering unexplained shoulder pain may require specific diagnostic procedures to isolate its exact cause, such as X-ray, MRI, CT or NCV scan, or diagnostic ultrasound. Once the source of your pain condition is determined in consultation with your doctor, you and he can work out a plan for treatment, rehabilitation and effective preventive care.
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, take the next step toward relief and visit us at Etheredge Chiropractic today!