Shoulder Pain

There could be a number of different reason why you are suffering from shoulder pain. 

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder, or “adhesive capsulitis” to give it the medical term, refers to loss of arm movement at the shoulder joint combined with inflammation of the tissues within the joint capsule that surrounds the shoulder and is often accompanied by a great degree of pain during even the slightest movements.


When you have a frozen shoulder, shoulder pain and tightness may make it difficult to reach overhead to perform simple activities. Once simple tasks such as combing your hair or putting dishes away can become very difficult. Ladies  may have difficulty reaching behind your back to fasten your bra and gentlemen a hard time reaching into their back pocket to grab their wallet.


How to Diagnosis

A diagnosis can be made by observing the range of motion of your shoulder. Here is how you can do it as an xray or MRI cannot diagnose the condition.


Stand in front of a mirror, slowly raise both arms up in front of you and overhead. If you have a frozen shoulder, your painful arm may only raise to a point just past parallel with the floor. Plus, your shoulder blade will rise up unnaturally and your painful shoulder may move up towards your ear. As you lift your arm, you may also feel pain in your shoulder. Slowly lower your arm.


Then, slowly lift your arm out to the side, again observing the amount of motion that occurs. If your shoulder only goes up to a point that is just level with the floor, and if it is painful, then you may have a frozen shoulder. Your shoulder may also move up towards your ear like in the previous motion test.


Finally, stand with both arms at your side and keep your elbows bent to 90 degrees. While keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, rotate your arms out. This direction of motion is called external rotation. If you have a frozen shoulder, the painful side will not rotate out as far as your non-painful arm.


If you have performed these motions and believe that you have a frozen shoulder, call your doctor or Chiropractor, so he or she can evaluate your condition.


A frozen shoulder will typically progress from the freezing stage (when the pain and restriction of motion have just started) to the frozen stage and finally to the thawing stage (when the shoulder is starting to loosen up).


By seeking treatment during the freezing stage, you may be able to decrease the severity and duration of the condition.



Chiropractic Treatment for frozen shoulder


Chiropractic care for a frozen shoulder usually involves treatments to help decrease your pain and increase your range of motion.


Surgery is rarely required to treat a frozen shoulder.


A frozen shoulder is often caused by prolonged immobility following an injury. If you experience a shoulder injury that requires immobilization, speak with your doctor about exercises to maintain the range of motion in your joint.




Rotator Cuff Tendinitis/Tear

The rotator cuff muscles play an important role in the movement of the shoulder.


They consist of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor muscles. The rotator cuff tendon is a major source of pain and disability.


If it becomes inflamed (tendonitis) or torn; voluntary abduction, elevation and rotation of the shoulder is lost.However, the chiropractor will be able to move the shoulder noting only a slight loss in movement due to pain.


Whereas with frozen shoulder, the chiropractor will not be able to move the joint. Rotator cuff muscle pain is usually due to trauma or overuse movements.


Bursas are fluid filled sacs that surround certain joints of the body and act to prevent excess friction between tissues and/or bony surfaces.


In the shoulder, you will find the sub-deltoid bursa that lies underneath the deltoid muscles. (These muscles make the rounded shape of the shoulder/arm).


The bursa can become inflamed (bursitis) or pinched which in turn will produce pain and some limited movement of the shoulder. Slight swelling and heat production may be felt

Other causes of shoulder pain

Other causes of shoulder pain....


Obviously fractures and dislocation will cause pain but, due to the severity of these problems, they are treated at the A & E departments in hospitals.


Arthritis of the shoulder joint, natural wear and tear, will produce shoulder pain but usually you will have experienced previous problems.

Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) can refer pain into the right shoulder joint but with no loss in actual movement of the shoulder joint.


Heart attacks can refer pain into the left shoulder and arm.