Throughout my week, I see a lot of people who have shoulder pain. Shoulder pain is a common ailment. In fact, a study by the National Ambulatory Medical Care showed that shoulder pain was associated with an injury in one third of visits to doctors.
Because the shoulder is such a complex joint, there are a lot of things that can cause pain there. Most people label it as rotator cuff pain, but there are a lot more things that can go wrong in the shoulder besides injury to one of the four rotator cuff muscles.
The shoulder is considered a complex joint. It is a ball and socket joint, so there are a lot of things that have to work together in order for it to function properly. Additionally, because of the location on the body, there are many other muscles, ligaments and joints that affect the positioning and function of the shoulder. Because of this, when people complain of shoulder pain, it’s really important to identify what exactly is injured and what is causing that dysfunction. If you don’t address the underlying dysfunction, even if you eliminate the pain in the shoulder, it will probably come back at a later time.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean.
#1: If someone has poor posture and his or her upper back is curved too much, it pushes the shoulder forward. If the shoulder is pushed forward, it isn’t in the proper position, making it impossible to work properly. If you don’t address the spinal position, the injury won’t go away.
#2: If one of the ligaments is damaged, too tight or too loose, the joint will never function properly. Again, this will prevent the injury from getting better.
#3: If a patient has really tight chest muscles, it can pull the shoulder forward and out of proper position. If you don’t get the chest muscles to release, the shoulder will never sit in the proper position.
#4: Most people suffer from some kind of neck tension or upper trap tightness. This pulls the shoulder blade up, pulling the shoulder out of position and causing dysfunction in the shoulder joint.
If someone is complaining of shoulder pain, we look at how the entire system around the shoulder is functioning. It’s easy to address the painful area, but if you don’t also address the underlying dysfunction, it will never heal, or will be re-injured again. If you’d like to learn more about this approach, I wrote a blog post recently addressing the issue of pain care versus functional care and the differences between them.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, I encourage you to contact us. Let us take a look at it and show you what we can do to fix the pain in addition to the underlying issue that is causing the pain. We offer a free consultation to help you understand how our process works. Give us a call at 949-916-9742.