Shoulder Pain

When it comes to the shoulder the most common injuries or conditions are sprains and strains, rotator cuff tears, tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis.

The shoulder is made up of three bones: your upper arm (humerus), your shoulder blade (scapula), and your collarbone (clavicle). The upper arm bone fits into a rounded socker on the shoulder blade called the glenoid. The combination of muscles and tendons keeps humerus centered in your shoulder socket. These tissues are call the rotator cuff which are made up of 4 muscles: Supraspinatus, this holds your humerus in place and helps you lift your arm. Infraspinatus, This in muscle lets you rotate and extend your shoulder. Teres Minor, this is the smallest rotator cuff muscle and is used to assist with external rotation (rotation away from your body). Subscapularis, This holds your upper arm to your glenoid and helps rotate your arm, hold it straight out and lower your arm.

Shoulder Muscles

These shoulder muscles like every other muscle work in combination with one another in all the ranges of motion and keep the joint where it is supposed to be. Sometimes there is a miscommunication or injury that causes you to change the way the muscles fire and how you move. This can cause chronic issues and irritate the soft tissues that support the shoulder.

What are These Conditions?


A tendon is the tissue that connects muscle to bone. Most tendinitis is a result of inflammation in the tendon. Generally, Tendonitis is one of two types: Acute, from excessive ball throwing or repetitive motions can lead to this type. Chronic, this is typically characterized by degenerative diseases like arthritis or repetitive wear and tear due to age, can lead to chronic tendonitis.


Bursae are small, fluid filled sacs that are located around joints throughout the body. they act as cushions between bones and the overlying soft tissues and help reduce friction between the gliding muscles and bone. Sometimes overusing the shoulder leads to inflammation and swelling of the bursa between the rotator cuff and part of the scapula known as the acromion.


Shoulder pain from arthritis can often cause people to avoid shoulder movements in an attempt to lessen the pain. this sometimes leads to a tightening or stiffening of the soft tissue parts of the joint, resulting in a painful restriction of the joint. Osteoarthritis , may be related to sports or work injuries, or chronic wear and tear. other types of arthritis can be related to rotator cuff tears, infections, or inflammation of the joint lining.

Sprains/Strains/Rotator cuff tears

Splitting and tearing of tendons and muscles may result from acute injury or degenerative changes in the tendons and muscles due to aging, long term-overuse, or sudden injury. The tears could range from minimal strains and sprains to partial and complete tears. In most complete tears, the tendon is pulled away from its boney attachment. The rotator cuff and biceps tendon injuries are among the most common of these injuries.

What treatment options are out there?

Chiropractic care is an option for treating these conditions, in the more serious conditions such as partial or complete tears of the muscle or tendon surgical repair of the damage might be the better option at first. Chiropractic care can use a few modalities to improve pain and function with these through the use of laser therapy, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilisation, Cupping, and rehabilitation exercises.

Acupuncture is another great option and or co-treatment to help reduce inflammation, increase blood flow and reduce muscle tightness and soreness.

Rehabilitation is what is used to correct the movement patterns as wells as weak or inhibited muscles. Using specific exercises to improve muscle strength and coordination, reduces the chance of reinjury and improves the long term outcomes for the condition.

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