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Shoulder Pain Injury

Shoulder Pain

Causes of Shoulder Pain

The shoulder is a rather complex joint, with 3 bones and a variety of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Here are some of the most common causes of shoulder pain:

  • Rotator cuff problem
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Bursitis
  • Calcific tendinitis
  • Bicep tendinitis
  • Bicep tendon rupture
  • SLAP (labrum) tear
  • Bone spurs
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Acromioclavicularjoint (AC) separation
  • Distal Clavicle Osteolysis
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Pinched nerve
  • Shoulder instability
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Referred pain from another injury
  • Heart attack

When to See a Doctor

It’s tempting to just rest your shoulder, take some pain relievers, and hope for the best, but sometimes you need to go to a doctor for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s time for a trip to the doctor:

  • Problems using the affected arm or carrying objects
  • Shoulder pain that lasts more than a few days
  • An injury that causes the shoulder to be deformed
  • Bruising or swelling
  • Signs of infection like fever and skin redness or warmth
  • Inability to lift the arm
  • Pain during rest or at night
  • Other unusual symptoms like difficulty breathing or abdominal pain

Diagnosing Shoulder Pain

A physical exam, with your doctor asking a lot of questions, feeling the structure of your shoulder, and testing your range of motion, which may be enough to diagnose the cause of your shoulder pain. Additionally, your doctor may recommend tests such as an:

  • X-ray to look at the bone structure in your shoulder and look for things like arthritis or bone spurs
  • MRI to look at the soft tissues of the shoulder and look for things like muscles or ligament tears

Treating Shoulder Pain

Treatment for shoulder pain depends on the type and severity of the injury as well as the individual affected. For example, a top athlete may require surgery to regain full use of the shoulder, while a middle-aged non-athlete may regain enough shoulder function through physical therapy alone.

Treatments for shoulder pain may include:

  • Rest for the first two or three days to allow swelling to go down. This may involve using an arm sling. Rest can cause more harm than good after a few days, though, so it’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions exactly about how long to rest your shoulder.
  • Ice or heat. Ice helps reduce swelling in the first few days after an injury while heat can relax the shoulder muscles before stretching or physical therapy. Follow your doctor or chiropractor’s instructions regarding ice or heat application.
  • OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Prescription corticosteroids can improve inflammation and reduce pain when OTC pain relievers aren’t enough.
  • Physical therapy can help strengthen the shoulder muscles to help improve the range of motion and increase strength in the affected shoulder and surrounding muscles.
  • Surgery is a last resort but may be required in the case of severe tears or other injuries.

Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Pain

When you think about a chiropractor, you probably think about spinal adjustments, and you may be wondering how that would help your shoulder pain. Chiropractors do a lot more than just spinal manipulation, but let’s start with how that could help your shoulder pain.

A pinched nerve in your neck or upper back can radiate to your shoulder can cause pain. This is called referred pain. Misalignment in your upper back or neck could also put a strain on your shoulder muscles, causing pain. For these causes of shoulder pain, a typical chiropractic adjustment may significantly improve your shoulder pain.

Chiropractors do more than just back adjustments, though. If your shoulder pain is the result of the shoulder being a little out of place, a chiropractor can gently adjust the shoulder back into place.

For shoulder pain unrelated to structures being out of place, a chiropractor can show you stretches and exercises to do to help loosen and strengthen your shoulder muscles to help reduce pain. They may also offer treatments like electrical stimulation, massage, or acupuncture to help reduce your shoulder pain.

If you’re suffering from shoulder pain, CLICK here or call Southside Chiropractic Car Injury Clinic today at 904-497-0823 to schedule a consultation to see if we can help relieve your shoulder pain.

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