Shoulder Pain Treatment In Charlotte, NC
Our Chiropractic Perspective
Most of us take our shoulders for granted as we move through each day lifting, reaching, and twisting.
But the shoulder is the most flexible part of our body, made up of two joints that facilitate most of our upper body movement and strength. When one part of the shoulder is injured or dysfunctional, it can cause a ripple effect through the whole upper body, leading to pain and other symptoms that can impact quality of life. Our Charlotte chiropractors are skilled at identifying the cause of shoulder pain and creating treatment plans specific to each person’s condition.
Why Am I Having Shoulder Pain?
The first step in any chiropractic care plan is to understand exactly why you are experiencing pain in the first place. To do this, it is helpful to look at how the shoulder is built.
There are three primary shoulder joints.
The glenohumeral is a ball-and-socket joint, where the top of the upper arm bone is the ball that fits into the socket of your shoulder blade. This facilitates a wide range of movement but is very small compared to similar joints like the hip. Muscles and tendons form a covering that holds this joint together, creating a sort of capsule. The capsule is filled with fluid that lubricates the joint and keeps your cartilage healthy. In turn, the cartilage protects the bones from impact and prevents them from rubbing together.
Above this main joint is a smaller joint called the acromioclavicular joint, which sits where the shoulder blade meets the collarbone. Its purpose is to help the rest of the shoulder move fully, especially when raising the arm, lifting something, or throwing.
There is also a third joint called the scapulothoracic joint. While this does not have the same ball and socket formation as other joints, it is a unit that gathers the other shoulder joints together along with the scapula and thoracic cage. This unit serves to integrate the movements of the scapula against the chest wall and the movements of the upper limbs.
As you can see, the shoulder is a very complex part of the human body, and an injury to one area can affect the whole thing.
Common Shoulder Conditions
Pain in the shoulder can be caused by long-term conditions like arthritis, as well as an injury. But in most cases, shoulder problems fall into one of four categories, though some issues can arise from rare scenarios like a tumor or infection.
Tendon Inflammation or Tears
The tendons that connect your shoulder muscles and bones can be the root cause of many types of shoulder pain. For example, bursitis occurs when the cushions between your bones and tissues are inflamed as a result of overuse and wear and tear to the shoulder. This commonly happens alongside rotator cuff tendinitis, a condition common in athletes. Tendinitis most often impacts the rotator cuff, but it can also affect the biceps and surrounding areas.
Tendons can also become torn or split due to an acute injury or degeneration over time. These can be partial tears or a complete separation of the tendon from the bone. Tears of the rotator cuff are some of the more serious shoulder injuries and may require surgical treatment.
When the upper arm bone is no longer properly in the shoulder socket, it can cause instability, typically referred to as a dislocation. While this is usually related to a sudden injury, overuse can also gradually cause a dislocation. Dislocations can be partial or complete and may become a repeated problem over time.
Arthritis is an umbrella term for many types of conditions that impact the joints. In the shoulder, the most common is osteoarthritis or “wear and tear” arthritis. Swelling, pain, and stiffness often begin in middle age and develop slowly over time, typically related to chronic use or injuries earlier in life.
Any of the bones in the shoulder can be broken. Most commonly, the collarbone, humerus, and shoulder blade are involved in shoulder injuries such as fractures. These are often caused by a fall from a standing height or a high-impact injury, leading to severe pain, swelling, and bruising.
When to See a Chiropractor About Shoulder Pain
Some shoulder issues may cause acute pain that resolves quickly and does not require attention. But if the pain persists, worsens, or spreads to surrounding areas, it is important to have it evaluated promptly to begin proper treatment. You should always seek immediate care if you notice an accompanying fever, swelling in the shoulder, discolored skin, or problems moving your arm. If your pain is the result of a known injury, it is also important to be treated for that.
A Charlotte chiropractor will perform a full physical evaluation of your shoulder to help determine the cause of the pain. You will typically be asked to perform simple tasks like lifting your arm, as well as passive tests where the chiropractor moves your arm and shoulder for you. If additional information is needed, you may be sent for imaging like an X-ray, CT scan, or MRI to better see what is happening in your shoulder.
With this information, your chiropractor will be able to determine the best plan to not only resolve your pain, but prevent future shoulder issues.
Addressing Shoulder Pain
Once the cause of your pain is understood, your Charlotte chiropractor will create a care plan specifically for you.
Most plans will start out with a period of mild intervention and pain management. You may be advised to:
- Avoid overuse of the shoulder – though typically you will not be asked to stop all movement. A sling may be recommended for a fracture but not other injuries
- Use ice and heat therapy
Once you have managed symptoms, a combination of chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy is usually recommended to resolve any pain and restore proper range of motion. Depending on your diagnosis, it may not completely reverse the condition–for example, there is no cure for arthritis–but you will be able to relieve symptoms and prevent further injury and degeneration.
Some shoulder problems will require surgery, but most do not. Recurring dislocations, some rotator cuff tears, and excessive scar tissue can all lead to a surgeon referral. Even in these cases, however, targeted exercise programs and adjustments are helpful after surgery to ensure a full recovery.
What Are the Benefits of Our Care
At Greater Life Chiropractic, we offer care with numerous benefits – helping to improve your overall well-being! Our shoulder pain care in Charlotte is designed to help you live a life that’s free from this discomfort. We believe in comprehensive and holistic approaches to caring for our patients; this includes care such as chiropractic adjustments, exercise suggestions, and lifestyle advice. When you choose us for shoulder pain in Charlotte, you’ll benefit from our integrated approach to care.
Our experienced team of practitioners at Greater Life Chiropractic understand the importance of working with each patient individually and helping them return to 100% of function. Our chiropractors will work with you one-on-one to identify the cause of your shoulder pain and create an individualized care plan that is tailored specifically for you. With this customized plan, we can help reduce your shoulder pain symptoms and get your life back on track quickly.
We know how important it is for people living with chronic shoulder pain in Charlotte to find relief without having to take medications or undergo surgery—and that’s why greater life chiropractic offers natural solutions through our specialized methods. We strive to provide quality care so our patients can experience improved comfort levels while also enhancing their body’s overall health.
Dr. Grant Lisetor and the team at Greater Life Chiropractic are dedicated to reaching the best outcome for every practice member. Whether you’ve felt a small twinge in your shoulder or suffered a serious injury, seeking skilled chiropractic care in Charlotte is a crucial step toward better health and fewer problems down the line.
What Are You Waiting For?
Call our Charlotte, North Carolina office today to schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help you achieve a Greater Life through optimum health.