The shoulder’s flexibility is considered to be its best characteristic however this also places it at risk of injury due to its lack of stability. There must be a balance of strength and flexibility of the muscles around the shoulder joint to ensure normal, pain free function. The shoulder complex consists of three sections; the Glenohumeral Joint (ball and socket), Acromioclavicular Joint (ACJ) and Scapulothoracic pseudo-joint (shoulder blade).
Painful shoulder conditions that limit movement are very common, and are caused by injuries affecting the shoulder joint, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. It is possible to do more movements with the arm than with any other part of the body. The shoulder joint in particular, being a universal joint, has a huge range of movement.
Sporting activities are a frequent cause of shoulder pain and dysfunction. Those involved in sports requiring repetitive shoulder motion such as throwing, bowling and swimming subject their shoulder to extreme forces which can result in overuse injuries. Weakness or imbalance of the muscles of the shoulder girdle will accelerate this process. Overuse injuries present as pain which progressively increases and begins to hinder athletic performance. Contact sports can result in traumatic shoulder injuries such as dislocations, muscle contusions (corks) and ACJ injuries. It is difficult to prevent such injuries but immediate management is crucial.
Repetitive work tasks found in some labouring jobs such as painting and gardening are also responsible for shoulder pain.
Since the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm originate from the neck and upper spine, conditions such as vertebral joint restriction commonly contribute to pain in the shoulder.
Chiropractors may assist with the following shoulder conditions:
- Frozen Shoulder
- Chronic Shoulder Pain and Stiffness
- Shoulder Muscle Spasm and Tension
- Arthritis of the Shoulder
- Diagnosis of Shoulder Pain
- Rotator Cuff Disorders such as tears and strains
- Impingement Syndrome
- AC Joint Injury