When treating shoulder pain, the first step is determining whether the shoulder pain is coming from the shoulder or if it is actually coming from the spine. Some clues that suggest the shoulder include: pain is worse with use of the shoulder or with overhead activities, no pain at rest, pain is localized to the shoulder/arm, limited shoulder range of motion, and pain lying on the affected shoulder. Clues that suggest the origin of pain is the neck or upper include: pain with prolonged sitting, pain is more concentrated between the neck and upper back, concurrent neck or upper back pain, and limited neck ranges of motion.
- If the pain is coming from the neck/upper back, treatment involves exercises to centralize the pain into the spine and out of the shoulder. Centralization is the movement of pain from an extremity (peripheral) to the spine (central). In addition, spinal manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) to the thoracic and cervical spine can also be helpful.
- If the pain is coming from the shoulder, treatment involves performing repeated shoulder range of motion exercises to address any range of motion loss in the affected shoulder. After restoring range of motion, exercises are progressed to strengthening of muscles around the shoulder collectively known as the rotator cuff muscles. Spinal manipulation in the thoracic and cervical spine can be a helpful addition along with manipulation of the shoulder joint.
By classifying the origin of a patient’s shoulder pain, treatment can be much more effective. If you have any questions or want to have your shoulder pain evaluated call our office at 630-510-0080 or book an appointment online from our website.
Yours in health,
The Lederman Chiropractic & Sports Medicine Team