Shoulder pain can be one of the most difficult types of pain to contend with. According to many experts, the shoulder is one of the most mobile parts of the body. We use our shoulders for so many daily activities, from reaching for something in the back of the refrigerator or on a high shelf, to driving, and even hugging a loved one. Shoulder pain can also make it difficult to perform activities of daily living, such as showering, preparing food, or even dressing oneself. Many people might think that surgery is the only option for shoulder pain. However, there are other treatment options for those that suffer from this condition.
Frequent Causes of Shoulder Pain
In order to understand the different treatment options available for shoulder pain, it’s first necessary to know a few of the most common reasons it may occur. In this day and age, shoulder pain is often the result of poor posture or repetitive motion. Computers, video games, and even modern-day assembly line work can create conditions under which the shoulder can become impaired. Of course, shoulder pain can also be from a myriad of other sources, including things such as car accidents and sports injuries. Any of these can result in strain in the tissue surrounding the shoulder, resulting in general pain and even tingling and numbness in the arm. Below are a few of the major types of shoulder pain that can occur, as well as treatment options that might be recommended.
What it is: Bursitis is a condition in which the bursae become inflamed. Bursae are fluid filled sacs, found at bone junctions throughout the body, including in the shoulder. They help to make mobility easier and smoother. The problem occurs, however, when the bursae become inflamed, causing shoulder pain and making mobility more difficult.
Treatment Options: Ultrasound is the typical treatment for bursitis. Chiropractic massage is another technique, often used in conjunction with ultrasound. It has the double benefit of reducing pain, while also breaking down scar tissue. The idea is to reduce inflammation. Once that has been accomplished, different methods are used to alleviate pressure, including chiropractic manipulation and sometimes an herbal anti-inflammatory.
What it is: Frozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder becomes so stiff and painful that the patient has a hard time moving their arm. At times, mobility can become almost impossible. This type of shoulder pain appears to afflict more women than men, and frequently occurs after a stroke or surgery. Adhesions, or tough bands of tissue, form when connective tissue in the shoulder area tighten and become thick. Over time, this causes the “frozen” shoulder condition.
Treatment Options: Doctors might sometimes suggest surgery, but chiropractic care and physical therapy are the best methods of treatment. The main objective of treatment is to increase mobility and restore functioning to full range of motion. Ultrasound, cold laser treatments, and range of motion exercises are a few of the recommended treatments.
Rotator Cuff Injury
What it is: This type of shoulder pain is especially likely to occur with repetitive movements. If a patient has difficulty sleeping due to the pain or trouble reaching behind the back or over the head, it might be due to a rotator cuff injury. Since the rotator cuff has the significant job of keeping the bone in the shoulder socket, you can imagine the shoulder pain that this type of patient suffers.
Treatment Options: This is another condition that many people think requires surgery to address, but that is not necessarily so. Physical therapy or chiropractic care can be very successful in treating this condition. Ultrasound helps reduce inflammation and massage therapy loosens tight muscles. Cold laser therapy might also help as a way of speeding the healing of micro tears that might be present in the muscles. After some improvements in flexibility and reduction in pain, physical therapy can help stabilize and regain strength.
What it is: Tendonitis is inflammation of the tendon. It can occur throughout the body but is especially painful in the shoulder area since it is one of the most used joints. It can occur at any age, especially after an accident or injury, but does often show up in people over forty. People with hobbies or jobs with repetitive motions are also more likely to experience tendonitis. It is such a common shoulder pain complaint that it is estimated that over four million adults seek care for this ailment every year.
Treatment Options: Chiropractic care has also proven to be very successful for this type of shoulder pain. The first recommendation will generally include reducing inflammation and pain. Techniques for this might involve ice therapy, herbal anti-inflammatories, use of a TENS device, or massage therapy. Once pain and inflammation have improved, treatments might shift to stretching and strengthening, lifestyle/prevention recommendations, joint manipulation, and chiropractic adjustments.
When Should I Consider Alternative Treatments for Shoulder Pain?
If you are experiencing shoulder pain, consider consulting with a chiropractor to determine possible treatment options. Many insurance plans cover chiropractic care as well as physical therapy. A chiropractor can determine the cause of your shoulder pain and offer several possible solutions to help. Most of the time, chiropractic treatments are a more affordable option, and less risky than surgery. If surgery isn’t an option for you, or if you’d like to explore all of your options before committing to surgery, then chiropractic care may be just what you need.
Please contact Epic Healthcare & Physical Medicine at (972) 355-0083 today to learn more about shoulder pain treatment options utilizing chiropractic care. Our experienced staff can devise a comprehensive plan to address your shoulder pain and help restore functioning.