Are you wondering why your shoulder hurts or feels stiff? Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint connecting your arm to your torso. It is very strong, mobile and flexible, helping you rotate your upper arm, lift objects over your head and reach behind your back. You use your shoulder for everyday activities such as driving a car, picking up a child or cooking a meal. However, athletes (think football or tennis) and people who work at jobs involving frequent, heavy or over-head lifting place extra stress on this joint and so can incur shoulder pain or injuries. In fact, experts estimate that 50% of Americans face shoulder pain at some point – either acute or chronic pain that makes it hard to work, exercise, play sports or enjoy daily activities.
Your shoulder is made up of a network of bones, joints, and soft tissues that support a wide range of motion. There are three bones involved: the scapula or shoulder blade, the humerus or upper arm and the clavicle or collarbone. Two of the shoulder joints are especially prone to injury: the glenohumeral joint and the acromioclavicular joint. Articular cartilage allows the bones to glide against each other and cushions the bones from impact. Next, you have muscles and tendons in your shoulder; you likely know someone who has experienced rotator cuff issues. There are also ligaments, labrum and bursae that stabilize your shoulder, along with arteries for blood supply and nerves for feeling.
With all these components needing to work together, you can see why shoulder issues can be complicated!
Getting Back in Motion
Bronston chiropractic doctors are specially trained to assess and treat your shoulder pain. We may use spinal manipulation – a natural, hands-on technique – to free nerves and reduce the pain of muscle spasms, strains or a pinched nerve. We may also give you exercises or stretches to aid recovery. Massage therapy or physical therapy can help loosen muscles and relieve that nagging pain. You’ll likely feel relief quickly, along with better mobility, increased strength and easier movement.