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Sore Shoulder? Lean on Your Chiropractor for Help

By Dr. Molly Casey

Shoulder Aches and Pains

The shoulder joint can be a source of pain, and an injury can limit your daily activities in a significant way. Full shoulder motion is required for many activities that we perform on a daily basis. Yet many people pay little attention to shoulder health until it isn’t working like it is supposed to. Taking shirts on or off, reaching up overhead for a glass, sitting at your desk while reaching behind you to grab something off a shelf, or perhaps putting your hand on the back of the passenger seat headrest when you reverse while driving are all examples of proper shoulder range of motion.

Shoulder Anatomy

There are two shoulder joints that involve three bones. Numerous muscles play a role in the proper functioning of these joints. The two shoulder joints are the glenohumeral joint and the acromion-clavicular joint. The bones are the scapula, the humerus, and the clavicle. The shoulder (as most think of it) is the glenohumeral joint. This is where the round-shaped head of the humerus (upper arm bone) sits in the concave, socket-like structure (glenoid fossa) of the scapula. There is a small portion of bone on the scapula that is above the glenohumeral joint and it juts out toward the front of the body; it’s called the acromion process. The acromion process meets the end of the clavicle to form the acromion joint.

Shoulder Problems

There are a number of reasons why people seek care for shoulder pain and dysfunction. An obvious reason is injury, whether it’s due to activities and sports or perhaps a rotator cuff tear. There are two other common problems that can lead to shoulder issues that are less obvious. One is cervical spine (neck) dysfunction and one is poor posture.

Cervical spine dysfunction or subluxation -- joints in the neck that are not moving through their full range of motion -- affect the biomechanics of the shoulder. When dealing with an extremity issue, it is always important to look at the health and function of the portion of the spine from which that extremity originates. For example, knee problems often relate back to an original pelvis imbalance; correct the pelvis imbalance through an adjustment and the associated work and then naturally watch the knee issues resolve. This is often the case with the shoulder and the cervical spine.

Poor posture is a common issue these days; folks commonly are walking and sitting with shoulders rounded forward and slouched down. This causes excess biomechanical stress. Although it may initially be minimal over time, this can turn into a prolonged trauma -- joints become restricted in range of motion, muscles become weak and imbalanced, and extremity function decreases.

Chiropractic Care

If and when you find yourself with decreased range of motion in your shoulder -- whether from an injury, knowing your posture isn’t optimal, or even if you’re simply wanting to get your shoulder joints checked for optimal function -- chiropractic is a great conservative care option.

Chiropractors adjust spinal joints and manipulate extremity joints. The adjustments and manipulations restore joint range of motion, facilitate proper nervous system communication from the brain to every part of the body, and promote proper biomechanical function. Chiropractic adjustment of the cervical spine and the manipulation of the shoulder joints can help restore you to activities of daily living without pain and it is done without drugs or surgery. Stop into The Joint Chiropractic and let the doctors help you and your shoulders.

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