Shoulder pain, whether due to injury or chronic overuse, can create barriers to an active, productive lifestyle. Whether you are a weekend athlete or someone with a physically demanding job, the damage you do to your shoulder can reach a point that cannot be ignored.
Regardless of the nature of the injury or deterioration of the tissues and structures within the shoulder, there are alternatives to invasive surgery and cortisone shots that are worth exploring.
Types of Shoulder Pain and Injuries
Your shoulder is a junction of three bones – the humerus, clavicle, and scapula. The humerus fits into the scapula like a pen in a pocket, and ligaments, muscles, and tendons provide the connective tissue that holds the joint together and protects the bones within it. Pain can result from serious injury, repetitive stress, or systemic problems like arthritis.
If the pain is such that your motion is restricted or it radiates out into the extremities, it may be a sign of a serious injury, such as:
- Dislocation – the shoulder offers a great deal of range of motion, but it can also be more prone to have problems with dislocation than any other joint, in which the bone pops out of the socket.
- Rotator cuff tear – the tendons and muscles that cushion the shoulder and hold it in place can become torn, resulting in an inability to lift or carry things.
- Bursitis – the bursae, or fluid-filled sacs with the joint, can become torn, causing friction and removing the protection that the structure of the joint has for the individual components. Tendons and muscles can then tear on the bone.
- Impingement – when the tendons inside the shoulder get caught between the bones and pinched, it can result in extreme pain.
- Broken bone – the most common break in the bones of the shoulder is to the clavicle, but the other bones can suffer fractures as well.
- Separated shoulder – if an injury causes the clavicle and scapula to become separated if the ligaments are torn.
Treatments for Shoulder Pain
Regardless of the injury, there are alternatives to pain medications and invasive surgical procedures. A trained chiropractor can assess the nature of your injury and determine whether the pain could best be treated by a traditional chiropractic adjustment or a treatment such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections.
In a traditional chiropractic approach, physical manipulation of the joint through adjustment or a myofascial release, in which the chiropractor realigns the fascia surrounding the joint. In many cases, returning the body to its naturally aligned state can alleviate the pain.
In cases where more traditional approaches would not be effective, the team might recommend a PRP treatment. In cases where there is extensive tissue damage, PRP offers a chance at relief by encouraging the body to use its own healing and growth factors to help the damaged tissues repair themselves. A concentrated solution of the patient’s platelets can be injected into the site of the pain, beginning the healing process by having these cells communicate and encourage the damaged tissue to heal and regrow.
Regardless of which treatment turns out to be best in your case, our team is qualified to diagnose the problem and begin a course of treatment that can bring you relief.