At the Hunter Clinic, we see shoulder pain as one of the most common afflictions of our patient population. All of us can strain a shoulder muscle from time to time. These types of minor maladies usually take care of themselves with a little rest and a gentle return to activity.
However, sometimes these shoulder problems, which appear so minor when they start, just don’t seem to get better by themselves. Generally speaking, if your shoulder problem, pain or restriction hasn’t got better in a month, you should consider getting professional help and seeing a Chiropractor should be high on your list of possible choices of manual therapy.
Signs that something is going wrong with the shoulder include beginning to find it difficult to put a jacket or coat on. Or, difficulty in lifting a hand fully above your head. Here at the Hunter Clinic we are fully qualified to assess, diagnose and treat shoulder problems with a view to preventing reoccurrence.
First Steps in Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Pain
Patients who come in with shoulder pain should understand that the pain is, in itself, just a warning signal. It shows us that something is going wrong. The crucial step is to establish what that something is. The first stage of Chiropractic treatment is to listen to the patient and find out how long the problem has been going on for; if there was any obvious cause; the quality of the pain (ache or sharp); if the pain varies with position or movement; and, so on.
Then there will be a full examination. This examination is not limited to the shoulder and its range of motion and strength and weakness in various directions. It should also include the patient’s total posture both when they sit, stand and when they walk. Once the patient’s shoulder and how this relates to their posture and gait is understood, then treatment can commence. Occasionally circumstances are such that a patient may need to be referred for an X-ray or MRI scan but usually the overwhelming majority of Chiropractic patients begin their hands-on treatment on their first visit.
Chiropractic treatment often has three aspects. First, there are the gentle, low-force adjustments and mobilisations that are part of the McTimoney Chiropractic Technique. McTimoney Chiropractic is a “whole-body” technique so please don’t expect the adjustments to be just to your shoulder. The neck is very often involved in shoulder pain as is the chest spine, though adjustments may well be more distant to the shoulder than this. In addition to the McTimoney Chiropractic adjustments there will probably be muscles that have been over-working and that have become tight and restricted.
These will need to be freed up by means of Soft-Tissue Release. Lastly, there may be some muscles that are not doing their job, that are “under-working”. Such muscles will need to be re-activated and reintegrated back into the patient’s normal movement pattern by means of Corrective Exercise. Corrective Exercise is particularly important when there is a “shoulder instability” problem (the opposite of a “tight” shoulder) and other rotator cuff problems.
When Should You Contact Us for Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Pain?
The short answer is that sooner is always better. Shoulder pain is easier to deal with if it is addressed before it has become a completely chronic condition. Often, with many types of shoulder pain, Chiropractic care can reduce or totally eliminate the problems causing shoulder pain through adjustment, mobilisation, soft-tissue manipulation and corrective exercise. At the Hunter Clinic we will never begin a treatment protocol without first taking a full “history” of the problem and making a full examination. We firmly believe that forming a full clinical impression or diagnosis is the vital first step in resolving a painful condition by Chiropractic treatment.
If you are suffering from shoulder injury or pain or lack of shoulder range of motion, we invite you to call us at 07855 916 602 to set up an appointment to discuss your shoulder problem.