Can a Chiropractor Help With Shoulder Pain? How Visiting a Chiropractor Can Allow You to Heal

Is your shoulder hurting? Does it sometimes go numb or tingle? If so, you need to get it checked out!

Chiropractic care for shoulder pain is an effective, natural alternative to traditional medications. In addition, conservative treatments are an excellent way to improve range of motion and treat pain. 

Curious to learn more?

Keep reading, because this article will answer: 

  • Can a chiropractor help with shoulder blade pain?
  • How does a chiropractor diagnose shoulder pain?
  • And much more
what does a chiropractor do for shoulder pain

Table of Contents

Does a Chiropractor Help With Shoulder Pain?

Yes, but not all chiropractors help with shoulder pain. 

However, many do receive training on the joints of the extremities (i.e. arms and legs). These chiropractors understand the different injuries that can cause issues to the shoulder. 

The Cascade Spine and Injury Center staff are among the professionals who have received extensive training on the joints of the extremities and provide treatment for shoulder pain. 

When Should You See a Chiropractor for Shoulder Pain?

Simple tasks such as getting dressed may become problematic when you suffer from shoulder pain. 

Shoulder pain is the result of …

  • An injury caused by trauma
  • Injury due to repetitive motion
  • Effects of long-term wear and tear; or 
  • Ailments of the tissues

… sustained from an injury. 

Symptoms of shoulder pain include: 

  • Tenderness
  • Achiness
  • Swelling
  • Numbness or tingling; and
  • Popping

If you are experiencing these or any other symptoms, please see a chiropractic physician. 

It is essential to get your shoulder pain diagnosed. Without treatment, your symptoms and pain could worsen. 

Does going to a chiropractor help with shoulder pain? Yes! 

Chiropractic treatment is a powerful method of treating shoulder pain and promoting recovery from injuries. 

How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose the Cause of Shoulder Pain?

Following an extensive review of your symptoms and medical history, your healthcare provider will perform a thorough examination of your shoulder. 

To rule out non-shoulder-related causes of your pain, the chiropractor will also examine other parts of your body, such as your neck or abdomen.

Occasionally, chiropractors may order x-rays or other diagnostic tests like an EMG or MRI to diagnose your condition more thoroughly.

Common Diagnoses of Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is usually caused by:

  • Traumatic injuries
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Long-term wear and tear; or 
  • Tissue disorders

After a visit with a chiropractor, you might receive one of the following common diagnoses:  

  • Fractured collar bone — Collar bones are commonly fractured by falls, sports injuries, or car accidents. 
  • Torn ligament or tendon —  Occurs due to trauma, repetitive movements, or degenerative joint disease. 
  • Torn rotator cuff — Injury and degeneration are the most common causes of torn rotator cuffs.
  • Shoulder strain — This is a tear in the shoulder ligaments or muscles. 

Because of the shoulder’s great range of motion, it is more likely to be injured in a car accident than any other joint in the body. 

Once your chiropractor completes their evaluation and presents your diagnosis, you will receive one of the following treatment plans: 

  1. Treat in-house only
  2. Begin treatment in-house while also referring out to an orthopedist; or
  3. A referral for an MRI if the cause of pain is unknown 
can a chiropractor help with shoulder blade pain

Can Shoulder Pain Be Referred Pain?

It is called referred pain when you experience pain in one part of your body because of pain or injury in another part of your body.  

This typically occurs because the nerves that feed some parts of the body also support other parts of the body.

Even though your shoulder is hurting, and it feels as if the pain originates in your shoulder, it might not be your shoulder that is the cause of the pain.  

Causes of referred shoulder pain may include: 

  • Lung problemsSome lung cancers or pneumonia can cause shoulder pain.
  • Pelvic problems — If the pelvis is out of alignment, the shoulders must compensate and shift out of their correct position to balance the body.
  • Gallbladder problems — Inflamed and swollen gallbladders irritate the phrenic nerve. It runs from your abdomen through your chest and into your neck. In addition, when you eat fatty foods, the nerve in your right shoulder blade becomes inflamed, causing referred pain. 
  • Heart or blood vessel problems — Angina chest pain occurs when your heart works too hard. This pain may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest, and it can spread to your shoulders. 

This is not a comprehensive list, but rather a list of some common causes of referred shoulder pain. As always, if you are experiencing pain, please contact a professional. 

What Does a Chiropractor Do for Shoulder Pain? 4 Treatment Types Used for Healing Shoulder Pain

Depending upon your diagnosis, you might receive a variety of treatment options.

Since there are various treatment options available, it is crucial to find a provider who specializes in working with shoulders and knowledgeable about shoulder pain. 

At Cascade Spine and Injury Center, we understand that everything is connected and that a weak muscle or lack of mobility can affect the entire body. 

Therefore, throughout your treatment, we ensure that the kinetic chain (relationship between the shoulder and spine) is examined.  

#1: Use of Various Treatment Modalities

Varying methods of treatment are known as treatment modalities. 

A few common treatment modalities in chiropractic care include:  

  • Hot laser — A handheld device is held close to the skin, which shines a light on the area where the pain is felt, or injuries have occurred.
  • Ultrasound — A technique that uses sound waves to penetrate the skin to soft tissues beneath. 
  • Interferential current — Used to stimulate muscle and nerves with a steady flow of electrical current or a surge of electrical current from electrodes applied to the patient’s body.
  • Traction — Weights and other forces used to relieve muscle pain and stress.

#2: Stretches and Exercises to Strengthen

Exercise has been shown to be beneficial for those suffering from …

  • Injuries
  • Lack of energy
  • Chronic pain; or 
  • Other musculoskeletal problems

Exercises that stretch and strengthen the body have their own particular benefits. 

You can use stretches to:

  • Ease muscle spasms
  • Improve your daily mobility; and 
  • Reduce your risk of injury by releasing muscle tension

A few stretching exercises your chiropractor might use to target shoulder pain include: 

  • Across the chest stretch
  • Eagle arms spinal rolls
  • Chest expansion;
  • And more

Strengthened muscles help to prevent injuries by enhancing the stability of the muscles that support your: 

  • Posture
  • Symmetry; and
  • Balance

A few strengthening exercises your chiropractor might use to target shoulder pain include: 

  • Shoulder blade squeeze
  • Plank
  • Arm circles;
  • And more

#3: In-House Massage Therapy and Acupuncture

Both in-house massage therapy and acupuncture may be used to treat shoulder pain.

If you are interested in receiving massage or acupuncture as part of your treatment, it is vital to find a chiropractor who offers these in-house. 

A therapeutic massage involves manipulating the body’s soft tissues to prevent or relieve: 

  • Pain
  • Discomfort
  • Muscle spasm: and
  • Stress 

The purpose of acupuncture is to stimulate specific points on the body with thin metallic needles that are inserted into the skin and then manipulated by hand or electrical stimulation. 

Acupuncture is often used to treat chronic pain, including shoulder pain. 

#4: Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation is the process of recovering from an illness or injury.

Taking the proper steps toward rehabilitation may not always be easy or quick, but it may restore your full mobility and ease any lingering pain. 

In addition, you will be given a personalized rehabilitation plan to help you return to the best possible quality of life. 

You will gain … 

  • Strength
  • Comfort; and
  • Mobility

… with a customized treatment plan. 

At-Home Treatments a Chiropractor May Prescribe for Shoulder Pain

If you have pain in your shoulder, a chiropractor may prescribe some at-home treatment options. 

A few at-home remedies which may be prescribed include:  

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs — Used to reduce inflammation in the joints.
  • Heat — Helps to relax tense muscles and soothe a sore shoulder.
  • Ice — Helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Salt baths — The magnesium and sulfates help to soothe and relax your muscles.

What Are the Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor for Shoulder Pain?

Many people do not know that chiropractic for shoulder pain offers excellent additional benefits

Chiropractic care is highly effective at treating the joints in the body, so it makes sense to have a doctor of this type to guide healing. 

Chiropractic treatments are:

  • Natural
  • Individualized; and 
  • Specific

No two people are alike – and no two chiropractic treatment plans are alike. 

How Long Should You See a Chiropractor for Shoulder Pain?

Seeing your chiropractor for a determined length of time depends on your condition. 

For example, you may need to see your chiropractor several times a week, depending on your injury, and you might be able to taper your visits as the pain lessens. 

For your treatment to work, make sure you attend your regular chiropractic appointments and inform your chiropractor if the pain persists.

After your chiropractic evaluation and diagnosis, your chiropractor will be better able to answer this question.

Cascade Spine & Injury Center: Trusted Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain

Are you suffering from shoulder pain? We offer the best chiropractic care in Portland for shoulder pain treatment at Cascade Spine & Injury Center. 

In his role as a chiropractic care physician, Dr. McClaren is committed to providing dependable, result-oriented pain relief.

He offers each patient an individualized, comprehensive chiropractic treatment plan designed to the specific needs of a patient suffering from shoulder pain. 

Dr. McClaren can identify and treat the source of shoulder pain, no matter how mild or debilitating it is.

Cascade Spine & Injury Center accepts an array of insurance coverage, including: 

  • Workers’ compensation
  • Auto insurance
  • Private Group Health Insurance; and
  • More

We also serve those without insurance.

Contact us today to begin your journey towards healing and comfort. 

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