Shoulder Pain

Sports chiropractic treatment for Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is an all too common condition, affecting almost everyone at some point in his or her lives. There are many possible causes of your shoulder pain. It can begin with bursitis or tendinitis, then impingement syndrome, bone spurs, small tears in the rotator cuff tendons, and full-thickness tears.

Most shoulder injuries are the result of overuse and often times they are treatable without surgery. Athletes that depend on regular and heavy use of the shoulder joint seem to be most susceptible to shoulder pain.

13% of all sports injuries involve shoulder pain


Baseball players, especially pitchers, tend to get the most public attention for shoulder pain among athletes, but swimmers, weight lifters, rowers, volleyball players, and racquet sport athletes are all at high risk for shoulder conditions. It isn’t just overuse from athletics that can be the source of your shoulder pain, as anyone with poor posture can also be affected.

When do you need to call your Chiropractor about your shoulder pain?

Your shoulder depends on a group of four muscles known as the rotator cuff to stabilize and control the joints. If the rotator cuff stabilizing the shoulder joint is weak, injured, or not functioning properly, the shoulder becomes unstable and more likely to be irritated and painful.

Just like any time you have a pain condition, the sooner you get chiropractic care the quicker we can help the pain go away and allow you to go back to normal activities. More importantly, the sooner you get the right care, the less likely you are to have the pain return.

    Signs that you should seek treatment include:

  • Pain on the top and front of the shoulder that lasts a few days
  • Recurring shoulder pain, even if it has a history of settling on its own
  • Inability to carry objects or use the arm
  • Injury that causes deformity of the joint
  • Shoulder pain that occurs at night or while resting
  • Inability to raise the arm or other loss of motion
  • Increased pain when lifting or reaching above shoulder level
  • Swelling or significant bruising around the joint or arm
  • Minor clicking sound with overhead motion
  • Tenderness to touch

If you are unsure of the cause of your shoulder pain, or if you do not know the specific treatment recommendations for your condition, you should seek sports chiropractic help. It is our belief that treatment of these conditions must be directed at the specific cause of your problem to be effective.

What are some common causes of shoulder pain?

Bursitis – Bursa are small sacs of lubricating fluid located at joints throughout the body. Shoulder bursitis develops as a result of a direct blow, long-term friction in the joint, or infection. Calcium deposits that irritate or intrude into the sacs can also cause shoulder bursitis.

Tendinitis – Inflammation develops in one or more of the tendons that connect the four rotator cuff muscles to bones. Rotator cuff tendinitis is the mildest form of an overuse injury in the shoulder. It can happen because of overuse (throwing a baseball, for example), age, injury, or all three.

Rotator Cuff Strain – The rotator cuff holds the upper arm bone in place in the shoulder joint and enables the arm to rotate. A rotator cuff strain is when the arm cannot move freely in a wide range of motion without feeling pain because one or more tendons are strained.

Shoulder Dislocation – The shoulder joint is the body’s most mobile joint, making it an easy target for dislocation. A partial dislocation is when the head of the upper arm bone is partially out of the socket, and a complete dislocation means it is all the way out of the socket. This shoulder pain stops almost immediately once a chiropractor is able to get the shoulder joint back in place.

Impingement Syndrome (Thrower’s shoulder) – This condition occurs when a shoulder muscle, tendon, and bursa sac rub against the shoulder blade. It often develops simultaneously with shoulder tendinitis.

Bone spur – A bone spur in the shoulder is extra bone tissue that rubs against a tendon, nerve, or other bone. It is possible to have a bone spur for years without symptoms, but when they do appear, you’ll know it because of the pain and limited range of motion in your shoulder.

Partial tear – With friction, overuse, or an injury, the tendon that connects one of the four rotator cuff muscles begins to develop small, micro-tears. With rest and treatment, they heal. Without attention, they can develop into full-thickness tears.

Full-thickness tear – The same things that cause rotator cuff tendinitis, like overuse, throwing, reaching, blows and falls, can lead to tears. But the more common cause is a gradual weakening of the tendon from years of use.

Healing and treating your shoulder pain starts with restoring proper range of motion to the shoulder muscles. Chiropractic adjustments of the lower neck can improve joint and nerve irritation and help relieve your shoulder pain.

At DSM Spine+Sport we focus on advanced training techniques (like Active Release Technique), so that we can offer a variety of treatments to relieve your specific shoulder pain. Our job is to evaluate your source of the pain by evaluating your entire spinal regions along with talking about nutrition, stress, exercise, and the active and inactive parts of your lifestyle.

What shoulder pain symptoms are you currently experiencing? Book an appointment online with us today and visit us for a consultation.