Your Troubleshooting Guide to Shoulder Pain
By Sara Butler
Although it's not uncommon for athletes to suffer from shoulder pain, it really is something that can be experienced by anyone. Everyday activities that may seem harmless at face value can be the driver behind the shoulder pain you may be experiencing. Activities such as carrying in all the grocery bags in one go from the car, painting the ceiling in your living room, or even sitting at your desk all day typing on a keyboard, can be the source of your shoulder pain. Basically, any repetitive, excessive and even overhead motions may cause shoulder discomfort. If you’re experiencing shoulder pain, this troubleshooting guide can help you to figure out what might be causing it so you can inform your chiropractor during your next visit to The Joint.
Common Shoulder Injuries
Your shoulder is a very complex joint, with many muscles, ligaments and tendons working together to move your arm about. It has such a complex range of motion that it’s easy to understand why it’s vulnerable to injury. The first step to finding the cause of your shoulder injury is to determine if it’s actually your shoulder that is the problem. If you are experiencing shoulder pain or discomfort, ask yourself these questions:
- Can you rotate your arms in normal positions without pain?
- Does your arm feel as if it might slide or pop out of the socket?
- Do you experience weakness in the joint that makes it difficult to complete normal tasks?
If you answered yes to these then it may mean a more serious problem is lurking and you need to consult your chiropractor immediately. If you chiropractor determines that your shoulder is the source of the problem then the injury probably falls into one of two categories:
- Impingement – This is caused by the shoulder muscles rubbing against the scapula, or shoulder blade. These injuries are often the result of a repetitive overhead motion of the arms.
- Instability – When one of your shoulder joints is forced out of its normal and natural position, then you may experience pain when you lift your arm or feel like the joint could easily move out of place.
The most common shoulder injuries are:
- Labrum tears
- AC joint separation
- Rotator cuff tear
- Frozen shoulder
Solutions to Shoulder Pain
Aside from working with your chiropractor to help treat your shoulder pain, there are some things you can do at home to help regain function and reduce pain. Talk to your chiropractor about exercises you can do to help stretch and strengthen the joint, and also talk to your chiropractor about how your posture may be making your shoulder pain worse. Hopefully, these approaches can help you to find relief!