Written by Magda Bispo Chiropractor and Director of Wellbeing Chiropractic Ltd in Northampton.
Shoulder pain is not always what it seems….the pain you feel can be due to a problem with the First Rib, neck, or the Trapezius Muscle, but the pain refers into the shoulder area and therefore people believe the root cause is due to the shoulder.
Many people present with shoulder pain to my practice on a daily basis, however after investigation I usually find that 50% of cases are not related to the shoulder at all.
The Shoulder Joint is one of the most complex in the human body, the joint is capable of an extensive range of motion, is only held in place by ligaments, tendons and muscle, and is connected to the central skeleton only by the clavicle (collar bone), therefore this joint is very susceptible to injury, with several nerves running from the cervical vertebrae (neck) through the shoulder region to the hand/fingers, Any interference within that part of your spine can affect those nerves and refer pain to your Shoulder, arm or hand. If your ‘shoulder pain’ is accompanied by neck pain, stiffness or restriction of neck movement then this could indicate the shoulder is not the only issue here.
Pain is a symptom….this is a fact, however pain or numbness in one place, such as the finger for example, doesn’t necessarily mean the finger is a problem. As Chiropractors we pay special attention to the nervous system, we visualise the human body as a map of nerves running from head to toe. If you have numbness, tingling or pain in your finger we will trace this back to the nerve which innervates this area, then using a specific chiropractic adjustment we remove the interference, which restores normal function and allows the body to work to its full potential, free from pain and symptoms.
The best way to help your body is to treat/adjust the condition in the early stages; a condition over 3 months moves from acute to chronic and therefore takes longer to heal.
How many of you have heard of a ‘Frozen Shoulder’? The official name is Adhesive Capsulitis, if you have suffered from this condition you will understand just how painful it can be. This is not something that happens overnight, it builds up over a long period of time, could be due to poor posture, lack of movement, an old injury which was left untreated and over time has deteriorated and eventually the shoulder ceases up and this is Frozen Shoulder. Anyone who has suffered with this condition will tell you that they wished they had addressed the problem at an earlier date.
Earlier I mentioned the First Rib, this is a small rib attached to the top of your thoracic spine (just below your neck) under your trapezius muscle, if you shrug your shoulders or have poor posture with head forward/shoulders rounded, the First rib can move and cause pain which in most cases feels like shoulder pain….your Chiropractor can identify and correct that for you.
A fully qualified chiropractor is able to check all the joints in your body and advise you on what could be causing the issue. If it feels like a muscle it could simply be a strain but it could also be something else, which causes your muscle to go into spasm to protect you from further damage.
Only 10% of our nervous system perceives pain, therefore you should trust your instincts and consult a specialist to protect yourself from further damage.
I’m happy to answer any questions, use thie contact form or email me at: [email protected]