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Shoulder Pain Relief

man holding shoulder in painThe shoulder is an incredibly mobile joint, possessing more freedom of movement than any other joint in the body. However, this increased mobility comes at a cost—greater instability. This principle holds true for joints throughout the body. As a result, the shoulder is susceptible to a wide range of issues. Unlike simple hinge joints like knuckles or knees, the shoulder can rotate, adduct, abduct, flex, and extend, making it vulnerable to various injuries and pinching sensations.


The Most Common Culprit: Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

One of the most frequently encountered issues is shoulder impingement syndrome, which primarily involves the supraspinatus muscle of the rotator cuff. When you lift your arm above your head, this muscle can become pinched between the humerus and the shoulder blade. Over time, this may lead to tendon damage, potentially requiring surgery.

Early intervention is key to avoiding surgery, focusing on releasing overactive muscle tension and activating underused muscles. Our preferred method for this is the Active Release Technique (ART®), a soft tissue technique. In addition, we also employ specific shoulder chiropractic adjustments tailored to the individual and their unique condition.

Expertly Diagnosing the Problem

While an MRI is considered the gold standard for diagnosing shoulder issues, quicker diagnostic methods are available. Jobe’s test, an orthopedic examination, is one such method. During this test, we assess the supraspinatus muscle for weakness or pain.

Additionally, there is a shoulder impingement test where the arms are crossed in front of the body and elevated. This test reveals any decrease in space where the tendon may become pinched. Patient history, including the circumstances leading to the injury or discomfort, is also a valuable diagnostic tool.

Understanding and Managing Shoulder Pain

While sports injuries and traumatic events may lead to rotator cuff issues, upper cross syndrome is a frequent cause of shoulder problems. This syndrome is characterized by forward head posture and rounded shoulders, often resulting from extended periods of desk work. Repetitive motions over time, such as computer mouse usage, can also contribute to microtrauma and pain.

Aside from shoulder impingement, injuries can affect any of the four rotator cuff muscles, potentially leading to shoulder pain. Labrum injuries affecting the cartilage cuff, where the muscles attach, are another common concern. Our team usually uses ART, chiropractic adjustments, home exercises, shockwave therapy (in our Pleasanton office), and sports taping to provide relief.

Rotator cuff problems can progress to a condition called adhesive capsulitis AKA frozen shoulder. This condition typically affects women around menopause but can occur in men as well. Frozen shoulder involves three phases: the freezing phase, frozen phase, and thawing phase. While our care can ease symptoms, there is no quick fix for a frozen shoulder, which often resolves gradually on its own.

This condition typically affects only one shoulder at a time, but it could theoretically occur in both simultaneously, although such cases are rare. It is not a systemic condition but localized to the affected shoulder.

Shoulder pain can significantly disrupt daily life, but it can be effectively managed with the right diagnosis and care. The team at Alexander Chiropractic and Wellness is committed to helping individuals overcome shoulder pain and regain full functionality in their daily activities.

Get the Help You Need and Deserve

Whether you’ve experienced a sports injury, repetitive strain, or other shoulder issues, we’re here to provide comprehensive care and support on your path to recovery. Don’t let shoulder pain hold you back any longer—schedule an appointment with Alexander Chiropractic and Wellness today and start your journey toward relief.



Shoulder Pain Relief Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon, Brentwood CA | Alexander Chiropractic and Wellness