Life can bring activities and sports that can result in some common injuries involving the shoulder. Sports such as tennis, golf, swimming, soccer, wake-boarding or water skiing, even home maintenance work can all cause shoulder problems.
The rotator cuff is comprised of a group of muscles and tendons that cross the top and back of the shoulder and attach onto the bone at the top of the shoulder joint, most commonly the supraspinatus tendon is affected. The biceps tendon crosses the front of the shoulder to attach to the joint. Any activity that uses repetitive overhead motions or sustained postures can result in inflammation of these tendons and shoulder pain due to tendinitis.
The most common shoulder problems include:
Impingement Syndrome– When the rotator cuff tendons become pinched in the joint due to narrowing of the joint space; this is commonly due to either inflammation or arthritic changes.
Bursitis– Inflammation of the bursa (fluid-filled sacs) around the shoulder that normally are present to provide cushioning.
Muscle Strain– Can occur in the upper shoulder muscles such as the upper trapezius or in the deltoid muscle at the side of the shoulder.
If you notice pain or soreness in your shoulder following any repetitive activities or sports it is important to use a cold pack for 10 minutes 3-5 times per day to help decrease inflammation.
Treatment Options for Shoulder Injuries
Chiropractors are skilled in performing orthopaedic and biomechanical assessments of the shoulder, frequently identifying those at greater risk of a shoulder injury. The type of Chiropractic treatments that you will receive depends on the specific condition that you have and whether you’ve undergone surgery or not. In addition, your Chiropractor will likely ask about your goals for rehabilitation.
Chiropractic treatments for shoulder injuries may be composed of a combination of any of the following:
- Cold therapy (ice pack application/ice massage)
- Hot pack application
- Immobilisation (splinting/bandaging)
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Dry Needling
- Soft tissue mobilisation (massage)
- Shoulder joint mobilisation
- Range of motion exercises
- Stretching or flexibility exercises
- General conditioning exercises
- Shoulder muscles strengthening exercises
- Patient education
- About the patient’s particular shoulder problem
- Precautions and activity modification
- Self-care of symptoms
- Home exercise program
- Shoulder injury prevention
- Return to work or sports rehabilitation program
As a specialist in movement patterns, your family chiropractor is ideally positioned to detect underlying weaknesses in your shoulder, neck and upper back that may pre-dispose your friends and family members to a shoulder injury. Please speak to your chiropractor if you have any questions or concerns about rotator cuff tears.
Towards Wellness – Get More Sleep
What can help you feel more energized during the day, improve your mood and even help you lose weight? Sleep! The body repairs and regenerates during sleep. Even calcium is added to bones while you slumber. Getting adequate sleep is the best way to help your mind and body function at its best. Just as a cut may heal while we sleep, so can our mind.
We all know that getting to bed earlier is easier said than done, try avoiding food two hours before bedtime, this can ensure that your digestive system doesn’t keep you awake, and eliminating all light in your bedroom, yes even a night light can promote sounder, more sustained sleep.
Stretch of the Month –Simple Shoulder Stretch
To release shoulder and neck tension, follow the steps below;
- Stand tall and slide your left hand down the left side of your body.
- Raise your right shoulder as your left lowers.
- Hold this for 10 seconds then stand straight again.
- Now slide your right hand down the right side of your body.
- Raise your left shoulder as your right lowers.
- Hold this for 10 seconds then stand tall.
- Repeat 4 times each side.