While shoulder pain isn't something most people think of chiropractors treating, we actually see a lot of of patients suffering from this. For some, shoulder pain isn't really the shoulder joints but the muscles between the shoulders and neck. Or it may be pain that travels from the neck to the shoulder. These are usually neck problems.
Then there are the true shoulder problems. Some of these are injuries to the cartilage cup of the shoulder blade, rupture of a tendon, or a bone spur fraying a tendon. That's not something chiropractic care is going to fix.
But many shoulder problems are blamed on tears of the rotator cuff when they are really due to imbalances of the rotator cuff and accessory muscles. As we get older it's not uncommon to develop tears in the shoulder muscle tendons. Often these are not painful or produce minor pain. But when knots or trigger points develop in the muscles, this causes added tension on the tendons and they can become very painful. Arthrograms and MRI's of the shoulder can show the tears but won't show the trigger points. Trigger points have to be found by palpating the muscles.
Treatment consists of compressing and massaging these knots to break up adhesions and improve circulation. This reduces tension on tendons and improves muscular balance and coordination. Improvement is usually felt right away.
Some shoulders need surgery and the decision is based on pain and interference with daily activities. Recovery from surgery is slow. Our treatment can help even when the problem has been present for years. And when it doesn't, surgery can be tried. But when surgery fails, there may not be other options.