The shoulder joint is one of the most complex in the human body. The shoulder joint is where the arm attaches to the rest of the body, but the muscles involved with keeping it stable, and moving the arm, reach upward into the neck, and downward to the top of the pelvic bones. The shoulder joint requires such a high degree of muscular involvement because it can move in all directions, and requires a different muscle to move in each unique direction.
Due to its’ complexity and its’ massive amount of movement, the shoulder is one of the most common joints to injure, malfunction, or cause pain. As a result, the shoulder is one of the more common complaints we see as chiropractors. The most common shoulder condition treated in our clinic is frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis.
Frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis is a common shoulder condition where the patient struggles to move the entire joint. The capsule surrounding the joint becomes tight and thick restricting the range of motion of the shoulder. Frozen shoulder is usually quite painful and can sometimes be confused as a rotator cuff injury. The pain and limited range of motion usually come on months after a trauma to the joint where healing has already occurred. It is unknown what causes adhesive capsulitis but some postulate that it is an overactive healing response within the body.
With chiropractic care we can use a combination of manual adjusting, myofascial tissue release, and stretching to improve the overall range of motion of the shoulder joint. Adhesive capsulitis is not something that can be treated overnight and will take substantial time to reduce and eliminate pain, reduce stiffness, and increase range of motion.
Other shoulder conditions such as bicipital tendonitis, subacromial bursitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, and rotator cuff injuries can also be helped with chiropractic care.