Got shoulder pain?

25 Feb 2021 Pain

Here are two of the most common forms of injuries we see in office!

Rotator Cuff Injuries

What are the rotator cuff muscles?

They are a group of muscles that surround the shoulder

  • Supraspinatus (most commonly injured)
  • Infraspinatus
  • Teres minor
  • Subscapularis

Just remember “SITS”!

How do I know I have injured any of these muscles?

Pain with various shoulder movements and ranges of motion

  • Pain reaching over head and/or any raising of the arm.
  • Pain when reaching behind you.
  • Discomfort while sleeping on shoulder.

The types of injuries to the rotator cuff are:

  • Tendonitis (most common injury) – From repetitive motions such as painting, typing on a keyboard, or even throwing a ball.
  • Tear – Usually occurs after a tendonitis has been present for sometime, or some other wear and tear that finally causes the tendon or muscle to snap.
  • Impingement syndrome – Can come about when one of the four rotator cuff muscles becomes impinged by a bony prominence in the shoulder blade.

Adhesive Capsulitis or Frozen Shoulder

What is adhesive capsulitis?

  • Commonly known as frozen shoulder, the humerus usually sticks to the scapula (shoulder blade) and the muscular capsule becomes adhesive like glue making, reaching things over the head difficult or sometimes even impossible.
  • It is more common in women around 40-60 years of age.
  • There is no known direct cause for this condition.

How do I know if I have it?

  • Easiest way to tell if you have frozen shoulder is if you have pain and stiffness when raising your arm out to the side.
  • Or that it may not go away simply with massage.

How are shoulder injuries diagnosed?

The most common diagnostic tools:

  • Orthopedic tests
  • Manual muscle tests
  • X-rays to check for arthritis
  • MRIs to check for inflammation or any muscle tears

What are the available treatments?

Depending on the severity of the injury, we usually start with the most conservative to the most invasive treatments.

  • Chiropractic
    • Manipulation and muscle work help rehabilitation the shoulder to decrease pain and increase range of motion.
    • Often the patient is sent home with exercises to complete in between treatments.
  • Acupuncture
    • Helps break the pain cycle, especially with tendonitis
  • Physical Therapy
    • If home exercises are not enough or the patient is unwilling to do them, we refer patients to physical therapy.
    • They work to reduce inflammation and pain by strengthening rotator cuff muscles and trunk muscles.
    • Goal is future injury prevention.
  • Corticosteroid
    • To stop inflammation and allow for healing.
  • Surgery
    • Is performed when repair of a muscle tear is needed.
    • Either done through open surgery or arthroscopic.

These are examples of some of the different exercises we have our patients do for shoulder rehabilitation.

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