Treating Shoulder Pain without Surgery
Traditionally, shoulder pain has been something reserved for the working man and, rightfully so, blue-collar professions where physical labor runs the show is primed for accidents to occur. In recent years, shoulder ailments have begun to shift to white-collar jobs. What’s the cause and how can it be fixed? With an unfavorable long-term success rate with surgery, we owe it to ourselves to explore other options before going under the knife.
Take the shoulder joint, which consists of the humerus, clavicle, and scapula and is a fairly weak joint, anatomically speaking. Its strength comes from the muscles that keep it together: Pectoralis major/minor, bicep muscles, triceps muscles, subscapularis, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, deltoids muscles, and teres minor/major. Pain tends to come from the humerus, clavicle, and/or scapula rubbing against one another, creating uneven wear and tear.
Additionally, when one muscle is stronger than the other, the body will react by tightening some muscles because they need to be stronger and turn off other muscles because they are not needed. These muscular asymmetries pull the joint out of position. Sadly, this is always the result from surgery as damaging tissue is unavoidable.
So how does this look? Picture someone who has shoulders that come forward. The pectoralis region is tight from lack of use and the person’s upper/mid-back is sore from overuse. Pain tends to present on the same side of the neck and upper back. The pain is due to the shoulder being pulled out of position, and the muscles trying like mad to keep the joint together. The weak muscles (neck and upper back) feel the effects first. I call it the “Mr. Burns syndrome,” because C. Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons exemplifies what happens when a person spends all of his or her time at a desk job.
It’s not so much that those with desk jobs will have shoulder pain; it’s that those with shoulder pain tend to be those who sit at desks. A similar concept is that smoking tobacco does not cause cancer—at least there’s not a 1:1 correlation—but those who smoke tobacco have a high level of cancer among them.
Correction of shoulder pain occurs when the humerus, clavicle, and scapula are in proper alignment and able to work together, acting as what they are: the roots of the muscles.
Fixing the problem of shoulder pain is something we pride ourselves on at MG Chiropractic. Of course, the time and ability to get back to 100% is influenced on each patient’s individual physical strength, the amount of time that symptoms have been present, and overall health. Many times, surgery can be avoided if chiropractic care is explored first.
- MedScape.com. Harrison, Laird. “Study Shows 57% Failure in Large Rotator Cuff Repairs.” February 8, 2012. Online article accessed November 1, 2016.
- Borgmästars N, Paavola M, Remes V, Lohman M, and Vastamäk, M. Clin Orthop Relat Res. “Pain Relief, Motion, and Function after Rotator Cuff Repair or Reconstruction May Not Persist after 16 Years.” 2010;468(10):2678–2689.