Suffering From Shoulder Pain?
Do you have shoulder pain in the greater Pittsburgh or Fox Chapel areas? The shoulder complex contains the most mobile joint in the body and as a result, is subject to a wide range of injuries and conditions. The causes of shoulder pain are endless, in some cases the cause of shoulder pain do not even come from the shoulder. For instance pain can come from the neck, the upper back, or abnormal motor patterns. In this article we will cover the most common shoulder injuries. These injuries can occur during athletic events, automobile accidents, or just due to overuse. Regardless of the cause or type of shoulder pain our Fox Chapel chiropractic clinic can help.
Causes of Shoulder Pain in Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel, and Surrounding Areas
Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain are as follows: impingement syndrome, instability, adhesive capsulitis, rotator cuff tear, acromioclavicular separation, and little leaguer’s shoulder.
The shoulder is home to and surrounded by many different structures that can be sensitive to pressure. When one of these structures becomes compressed it can be very painful. This is what we call impingement syndrome. Most commonly the biceps tendon, supraspinatus tendon, or the subacromial bursa are the structures that become impinged. The cause of these impingements can occur for many different reasons. Pain is generally worse with overhead motions. Often there will be a history of sports participation or occupation that requires lots of overhead activity. Diagnosis can often be made using orthopedic testing. The management of the condition is dependent on the severity of the symptoms, however conservative rehabilitation is often an effective first line treatment.
Instability is most commonly due to a traumatic event, though it can also be caused through non-traumatic means. The shoulder has a lot of musculature as well as ligaments that help to keep it in place. Overall these structures are successful at accomplishing that goal however, in part due to the large range of motion that the shoulder has, it can become dislocated. When the shoulder is dislocated the first time it becomes much more likely to become dislocated again. This can be due to the muscles, tendons, and ligament stretching and tearing. This results in instability. Someone with instability is likely to have pain or weakness when the arm is in the overhead position. Diagnosis can be made using the patients past history, as well as orthopedic testing. The management of the condition is dependent on the severity of the instability. Conservative care is often the first line of treatment. Stability can be regained using exercise therapy.
Adhesive capsulitis is commonly called frozen shoulder. The presentation of adhesive capsulitis varies depending on which of the three phases of adhesive capsulitis that the patient has. In the acute phase the shoulder pain will be moderate to severe and can limit the shoulder movement in all directions. In the 2nd phase the patient will present with a past history of the symptoms from the first phase. The patient’s pain will be more mild then it used to be, but motion is often more limited than it was. In the third phase the motion will start to return to the shoulder, but motion will still be partially limited. Range of motion tests as well as the patient’s history aid in the diagnosis of adhesive capsulitis. Conservative management of the adhesive capsulitis is the first line of treatment. It is usually successful in restoring motion and relieving pain in the shoulder. Conservative management generally consist of stretches, exercises, and manipulation to the area.
Rotator Cuff Tear
There are 4 muscles that make up the rotator cuff. Most commonly tears occur in the supraspinatus muscle. The supraspinatus muscle is responsible for lifting the arm from the side of the body. Young people who suffer rotator cuff tears are likely to have a history of a traumatic event, while older people are more likely to have a history of overuse. There is often weakness and pain when trying to lift the arm. To make a conclusive diagnosis of rotator cuff tear an MRI or ultrasound is required, however a conclusive diagnosis is often unnecessary. Using the patient’s history as well as orthopedic tests enough information is provided to begin management. The first line of management for rotator cuff tears is conservative treatment such as exercise therapy. In certain circumstances surgery may be required.
Acromioclavicular separation or an AC sprain is usually the result of a traumatic fall on to the shoulder or an outstretched hand. Just like all other sprains there are three grades. The first grade is a minor tear with no instability, the second grade in the case of an AC sprain is tearing of the AC ligament which is unstable, and third grade tears are tears of the AC ligament and coracoclavicular ligament with instability. Evaluation of this injury can be made using the patient’s history. To determine the exact grade x-rays or MRI are required. Acromioclavicular separation can be treated conservatively regardless of what grade the separation is. Some patients opt for surgery for grade 3 separations, since treating grade 3 separations conservatively will leave a cosmetic lump over that area.
Little Leaguer’s Shoulder
Little leaguer’s shoulder presents most commonly in young baseball players who complain of shoulder pain that came on slowly in the throwing shoulder. The shoulder will often be tender to palpation. The stresses of throwing can cause Salter-Harris injuries, which are injuries to the growth plate. Usually x-rays are required to confirm this diagnosis. Management of this condition varies as there is no agreed upon recommendations. Often resting the shoulder is the first stage of management.
Manual and passive therapies are often utilized at our office in conjunction with the chiropractic care to help ensure a fast recovery.
In any event, whether the pain is originating from the spine or is caused by damage to the shoulder, chiropractic care can provide a non-invasive and effective treatment option for the condition. Contact Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation in Fox Chapel today to see if you can benefit from chiropractic care.
TREATING SHOULDER PAIN IN PITTSBURGH, FOX CHAPEL, AND SURROUNDING AREAS
Due to the wide range of causative factors, shoulder pain or abnormal motion in the joint may develop gradually or come on suddenly. Since the shoulder joint is used in the vast majority of activities that we engage in daily, any injury to the area should be taken seriously and treated appropriately. Even the most minor injuries should be treated early to help prevent it worsening.
Some symptoms of a shoulder injury or condition are more pronounced than others. Therefore, all symptoms involving the shoulder should be monitored carefully. Symptoms indicating the need for an immediate evaluation of the shoulder complex include; shoulder pain that lasts for more than a week, shoulder pain that goes away and then returns frequently, difficulty raising your arm above your head, trouble or pain when carrying objects, pain in the shoulder joint that becomes more pronounced in the evening, any obvious signs of damage to the joint such as bruising or swelling, or an unusual snapping or clicking sensation in the joint during movement.
The most appropriate treatment for your shoulder pain is often dependent on its cause. Fortunately, conservative and chiropractic care has been shown to be effective for most shoulder conditions. Our chiropractors at Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation will evaluate both the shoulder and the spine, concentrating on the neck region. The neck and upper back are the areas that all of the muscles and structures that control the shoulder joint originate from. Sometimes shoulder problems are a result of structures coming from the spine being irritated.
Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation is fully equipped and trained on the various techniques for diagnosing the cause of shoulder pain. We will utilize the clinical information provided from your history and orthopedic procedures to determine the cause of your shoulder pain. The correct diagnosis will then be used to develop an individualized treatment plan.
Conservative treatment such as manual and passive therapies are often utilized at our office in conjunction with the chiropractic care to help ensure a fast recovery.
In any event, whether the pain is originating from the spine or is caused by damage to the shoulder, chiropractic care can provide a non-invasive and effective treatment option for the condition. Contact Tauberg Chiropractic & Rehabilitation serving the Pittsburgh, Fox Chapel and surrounding areas today to see if you can benefit from chiropractic care.
- Souza, T. A. (2016). Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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