Can Chiropractic Help Shoulder Pain and Other Shoulder Problems?
Yes. Chiropractors are often known as experts of the spine, but that is not all they are capable of working with. Chiropractors are trained to adjust every joint in the body, except teeth. Many people overlook the fact that a chiropractor can help with more than just neck and back pain. Common problems with feet, ankles, knees, hips, wrists, elbows, and certainly shoulders can be corrected with chiropractor care. Even the three small bones in the ear can be gently adjusted. The ear adjustment alone has proven to be beneficial for ear infections. Some chiropractors have trained to adjust the bones in your skull. Using applied pressure to balance the suture joints to help with migraines, reading ability, autism symptoms, and other brain functions.
The shoulder is a complicated and interesting joint.
It is connected to the body is mostly reliant on the surrounding muscle and not the joint itself. In contrast, your hip joint has two large bony components, your pelvis, and femur. This large joint secures your leg to your pelvis with much greater stability because of the size of the joint and the surrounding ligaments. There is less mobility compared to the shoulder but more stability and power. This makes sense because you stand and walk on your legs every day. While your arms are used for my fine motor skills instead of heavy moving.
Your shoulder joint consists of your humerus and scapula which is attached to your sternum via the clavicle. It goes like this; glenohumeral (shoulder) joint to acromioclavicular (AC) joint, to sternoclavicular (SC) joint. The AC and SC joints are much smaller than the shoulder which means these smaller joints are not the primary stabilizing connections to your torso. The muscles that surround your shoulder are going to have a bigger role in shoulder stabilization.
So what do these muscles attach to?
Meaning the surrounding muscles on your shoulder have a much bigger influence on the position and movement of your shoulder. And where do those muscle attaching to your scapula and humerus originate from? Your spine.
Many chiropractors can help improve the function and mobility of the shoulder, AC and SC joints with chiropractic adjustments. However, it is often more important to recognize that the foundation to which these muscles attach must first be addressed in order to give you the best chance for successfully treating any shoulder joint issues like frozen shoulder, shoulder pain, and rotator cuff issues.
With rotator cuff problems it’s important to look at why you may have problems with rotator cuff in your shoulder wearing and causing pain or abnormal movement. This can often happen due to an injury or abnormal motion in the joint which is often a result of the abnormal orientation of the shoulder joint i.e. it’s rotated inward or sits higher or lower that it should. These postural issues are VERY rarely strictly a “muscle issue”. Remember those muscles are going to be influenced by the foundation to which they attach.
If the person’s posture or spine is not normal then the muscles will be stretched or shortened as a result. This often results in shoulder pain, frozen shoulder or rotator cuff problems. If you have one shoulder with rotator cuff problems and you didn’t have a specific injury to the shoulder joint then why is that one not working as well as the other one. They are both the same age. This can often be attributed to an abnormal shift in the spine, AC, SC or shoulder joints which need to be corrected by a chiropractor with adjustments and exercise therapy to help balance and stabilize the joint after the adjustment.
Physical therapy can often be helpful in treating the symptoms of these shoulder pains and problems but they will never address any structural or joint abnormalities that are often the cause. That’s not to say Physical Therapy has no value. On the contrary, many chiropractors use physical therapy and exercise therapy in conjunction with chiropractic adjustments. This is typical because both are often necessary to get the best results as well as long-term symptoms changes.
Physical therapy alone often shows minimal or at least limited because they do not address the spinal abnormalities affecting the mobility of the joint. Even more common are the consistent reoccurrences of shoulder pain and symptoms when ignoring the structure of the spine or need for adjustment of the shoulder joint. Make sure that if you are diagnosed with or having problems with shoulder pain, frozen should or rotator cuff issues that you investigate the potential cause of the problem with a chiropractor.