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Arm and Shoulder Pain

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The shoulder is one of the most common regions of the body affected by arthritis. Even a little discomfort can reduce the mobility of your arm and early treatment is necessary to prevent the condition from getting worse. Singaporeans who work long hours seated at a desk may develop conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and thoracic outlet syndrome, both of which can lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in the arm, wrist, neck and shoulder region.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, chiropractic care can help.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Your shoulder is designed for maximum maneuverability because it's one of the joints that is used most often throughout the body. In the shoulder joint you will find a set of four tendons that keep the muscle attached to the bone. This is the area we call the Rotator Cuff and its primary purpose is to secure your humerus bone (the upper arm bone) inside of the shoulder socket. This stabilization of the humerus helps to give your shoulder its wide range of movement.

But with so much use of the joint comes wear and tear that can start to impact the functionality of the shoulder over time and there are many possible reasons why you may be experiencing pain. An accurate diagnosis must first be made to better understand the cause for the discomfort or pain before treatment options are discussed.

Many of our patients will seek out chiropractic treatment as a first step because they recognize the efficacy of adjustments on treating the underlying condition and not just the symptoms. Some of our patients come to us after they have sought out medical care and do not want to rely on invasive surgery or prescription medications for relief.

These conditions are common causes for pain, as tendons and muscles can become injured and the symptoms experienced throughout the shoulder and arm.

Bursitis

When a patient is experiencing pain or discomfort in the shoulder, it is most often due to bursitis. This is a condition in which the bursa becomes inflamed. The bursa is a sac filled with fluid that helps to make the joint more flexible while keeping it protected.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

Tendonitis is a condition where the tendons are compressed beneath the scapula (shoulder bone) and they become torn, damaged, or swollen as a result. Since the Rotator Cuff has four tendons and the joint is almost always moving, this is another common cause of shoulder pain. Patients will develop the condition due to aging, an injury, constant repetitive movement of the shoulder, or other forms of routine wear and tear.

Arthritis

This condition can become quite painful in a short period of time. Arthritis occurs when cartilage in the joint begins to erode leaving the joint unprotected. Although this is a condition that is found more often in the knees and hips, the shoulder can become affected. In some instances, joint replacement surgery may be required to solve the problem.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

This is a condition that can arise if the nerves located between the collarbone and the ribs become compressed or stressed. Symptoms include numbness in the fingers and pain in the shoulder and neck.

Frozen Shoulder

When the shoulder joint becomes stiff and painful, it may be a sign of adhesive capsulitis, better known as Frozen Shoulder. It's a condition affecting individuals who have had the arm immobilized for extended periods of time and it's a common side effect of diabetes. Stretching helps to alleviate the symptoms related to Frozen Shoulder.

Calcific Tendonitis

Typically centered in the Rotator Cuff, calcific tendonitis occurs when calcium deposits are found inside of the tendon. Treatment options vary based on the severity of the symptoms being experienced by the patient.

Labral Tear

The labrum is located along the edge of the shoulder socket and its main purpose is to hold the ball of the shoulder joint in place. It is made of a rubber-like tissue called fibrocartilage and when it becomes torn due to a sudden injury or aging, the pain can be severe enough as to prevent movement and cause instability in the joint. There are many kinds of labral tears including a Bankart tear or a SLAP lesion.

Shoulder Instability

Typically caused due to injury, though other conditions can also be attributed, shoulder instability occurs when the joint becomes loose and pain is felt as a result.

Shoulder Dislocation

This is usually the result of an injury, particularly for those who play sports. A shoulder dislocation occurs when the humerus is dislocated from the scapula

Shoulder Separation

Many patients confuse a separation with a dislocation even though both are very different from one another. With a separation, the acromioclavicular joint or AC joint is disrupted as the ligament surrounding the joint are damaged in some capacity. A mild separation means the ligaments have been sprained while a more severe separation could mean the ligaments have been torn.

Biceps Tendon Rupture

A biceps tendon rupture is typically caused by injury or wear and tear. It occurs when the tendon of the biceps muscle is torn or ruptured near the shoulder joint. This can lead to pain resonating through the rest of the arm.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

This condition is a result of repetitive use of the wrist and it can occur when an individual is working at a computer for long periods of time. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a compression of the median nerve which runs through the narrow passage of your wrist. That compression can result in numbness or a tingling sensation in the hand.

How Chiropractic Care Helps Relieve Pain

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating shoulder pain. Every patient is different and the causes of shoulder discomfort can be just as varied. Diagnosing your problem is the top priority before any treatment options can be considered.

When it comes to seeking out chiropractic care for shoulder pain and discomfort, a diagnosis of the problem requires a somewhat different method than you may receive from your medical practitioner. A chiropractor will take all of the important factors into account before arriving at a specific diagnosis. Your overall health and well-being are examined, not just the shoulder that is causing you pain. Lifestyle habits are also taken into consideration as your chiropractor will ask you about your diet and the amount of physical exercise you get each day. There are other factors discussed as well, such as family history and previous injuries you may have experienced.

From there, a diagnosis is made and a treatment plan developed. The chiropractic professionals at Light Chiropractic are uniquely qualified to apply specialized techniques to the spine and neck for the purposes of alleviating pressure on the shoulder. An examination will focus on the spine and neck areas to determine if you have any misalignment of the vertebrae in the neck region. Proper adjustment can be applied to reposition the vertebrae and realign the spine to relieve your shoulder pain and restore your mobility and maneuverability. Additional steps may be recommended to continue your treatment after you leave the office such as massage, stretching, physical exercise, ice packs or applied heat to the area. In more severe cases, you may have to keep from moving the shoulder over an extended period of time to allow for healing to occur.

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