Chronic pain is rampant in America and the adequate treatment of this pain has not only fallen behind the needs of its patients, but it is oftentimes ineffective and does not work to resolve the underlying problem.
According to the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics, adults report shoulder pain as the 5th most common area for chronic pain at 9% of complaints. While shoulder pain, with or without an acute shoulder injury, may not be as common of a complaint as migraines (16.1%) or low back pain (28.1%), to someone suffering from shoulder pain that affects their daily life percentages are meaningless.
How Shoulder Pain Can Affect Other Areas
When the body is functioning properly coordinated movements of the shoulder blade and the shoulder socket take place without difficulty or any accompanying discomfort. Unfortunately, whether we realize it or not many daily movements rely on this fluid functioning in order to carry out other movements necessary in daily life. The term scapular dyskinesia is used to described a condition when this fluid movement becomes out of sync. This is just one of the many conditions that could be causing shoulder pain. Other common diagnoses include shoulder bursitis, fibromyalgia, tendonitis, tendon tears, shoulder impingement, overall instability, and arthritis, as well as shoulder fractures. While shoulder pain or injuries can have many underlying causes the important take home is to note that a biomechanical dysfunction in this area can affect movement of the legs, torso, arms and hands. As explained by our foundation in functional biomechanics, an initial shoulder injury can cause further pain or dysfunction in any one or more of these areas. In turn, the effects of the movements in these secondary areas can cause a shoulder condition to worsen due to added stress and compensation.
Proper Treatment of Shoulder Pain and Shoulder Conditions
In line with our overlying approach to treatment the initial focus of treatment should always be pain relief. This can be accomplished through a variety of non-pharmacological treatments and will be chosen and outlined by your doctor depending on the underlying condition.
Oftentimes, once the initial pain is relieved patients stop seeking treatment without addressing the chronic problem. Rehabilitation of shoulder injuries is imperative to avoid re-injury and help take you to a superior level of daily functioning and physical wellness than pain relief alone can provide.
Our rehabilitation focuses on muscle strengthening and conditioning, personalized exercises aimed at improving stabilization and exercises that work to increase your range of motion. All of our techniques are progressive and our functional training experts help build up your strength by guiding you through “baby steps” with the goal of an eventual return to fully functional activities.
Those suffering from chronic shoulder pain who would like to find treatment options rooted in natural medicine should seek out a professional that is experienced in sports medicine and chiropractic care. Oftentimes, relief and resolution of sport and non-sport related shoulder injuries can be treated with chiropractic care and exercise therapy. This often provides an alternative to an costly shoulder surgery, that often can be avoided, and the traditional pharmaceutical approach.