Shoulder problems are usually multi-faceted in nature. Often caused by muscle imbalances, overuse injuries and/or poor exercise selection.
You may have a “rotator cuff” tear or strain which means you have problems with the tendons around the shoulder. This is very common if you have had muscle imbalances for years, particularly as you get older. There are four joints in the shoulder, the largest of which is that between the top of your arm (head of the humerus) and the shoulder blade. This joint is inherently unstable because the head of the humerus is like a golf ball sitting on a tee (see below).
The stability of this joint requires all of the four main muscles around the joint (see below) to function optimally or you can experience pain eventually.
Other muscles also help to maintain shoulder stability too and these have more control over the shoulder blades see below.
Why You Might Get Shoulder Pain
If you sit at a desk too long or look at a lap top at home hunched over, or if you have a hobby such as sewing or even weight lifting – you are likely to have stronger, shorter and tighter muscles at the front of your shoulder that pull the head of the humerus forwards and give you pain. Often the serratus anterior (see above left) is weak in this case so the shoulder is pulled up and forwards and over time that makes the head of the humerus rise in the joint and irritate the rotator cuff enough to cause it to be rubbed and become irritated (impingement) See below. This can take a while to heal.
You may experience pain due to the bursa (sac) above the humerus becoming inflamed or the shoulder may become too mobile that can irritate the ligaments, joint capsule or the tendons all of which can give rise to pain.
You may have mid back tightness – this can lead to too much movement in the shoulder blades and then resultant instability as described above.
As you can see – shoulder pain is far from simple. Chiropractors in Southampton at the Avenue Clinic will thoroughly examine the shoulder and the muscles and joints around the shoulder to find the cause of your pain, including your neck.
Shoulder pain can also be due to neck problems – see neck pain page, if you have irritated a nerve in your neck that can affect the function of the shoulder and its muscles.
Another common cause of shoulder pain is ‘frozen shoulder’ which is when the capsule around the shoulder tightens up gradually and causes pain. Chiropractic treatment can often help ‘unfreeze’ the shoulder more quickly than just leaving it to recover, which can take months of pain.
Don’t just leave shoulder pain – come to see the chiropractors in Southampton at the Avenue Clinic for a full examination of your problem and expert advice regarding how best to treat your pain. If you don’t know the cause of the pain, you can’t treat it effectively!