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Shoulder and Arm Pain
What causes shoulder and arm pain?
The cause of many instances of shoulder or arm pain is obvious.
You do something to injure the arm or shoulder and immediately
feel pain. Or you begin feeling the pain a day or so later.
You may have broken a bone or dislocated your shoulder. Perhaps
you strained tendons or ligaments by carrying too much weight
for too long, by lifting something that was too heavy, overreaching
or overexerting your arm--as when playing sports when you're
out of shape--or by keeping your arm in an awkward position,
or even by sleeping on the shoulder. The resulting pain may
range from an annoying ache to acute pain that makes it hard
for you to use the injured arm. Fortunately, the majority
of such injuries are seldom critical.
But there are other, less-obvious causes of shoulder or arm
pain. Each is distinguished by where it is felt, whether it
comes on suddenly or over time, when it is at its worst, if
the pain extends to other joints in your body, and if other
symptoms--such as swelling, numbness, tingling, fever, fatigue,
and insomnia--accompany the pain. The causes of shoulder and
arm pain include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and gout.
Such pain may also result from a reaction to medications such
as penicillin, anti-anxiety drugs, and oral contraceptives.
Whiplash injuries, common in auto
accidents, can also cause shoulder and arm pain.
Shoulder and arm pain may be referred from some other region
of the body, as when someone suffering a heart attack feels
pain in the left shoulder and down the left arm. The pain
may also be referred from nerves associated with the joints
in the upper spine or "trigger
points" in the back, which are particularly responsive to
chiropractic spinal adjustments designed to treat such problems.
What can chiropractic do?
Your chiropractor will examine you and conduct diagnostic
tests to determine exactly what is causing your shoulder or
arm pain. Because the causes and the seriousness of different
conditions are so varied, it is important to pinpoint the
cause and begin the most appropriate treatment. He or she
will discover if your problem is mild and transitory or serious
and likely to trouble you for a long time. A broken bone cannot
be treated in the same manner as bursitis or tendonitis. Arthritis
and gout call for different care than pain originating in
nerves supplying the shoulder and arm. Your chiropractor will
decide which treatment will be best for you and if referral
to a specialist will be necessary.
Chiropractic can be successfully employed to deal with so-called
frozen shoulder, a severe inflammation technically known as
adhesive capsulitis. Chiropractors are accustomed to relieving
painful trigger points between the spine and shoulder. Many
chiropractors, especially those with additional training in
sports medicine, are experienced
in the care and rehabilitation of professional and amateur
athletes who have injured their shoulders or arms. And all
chiropractors can help you modify your habits and lifestyle
to protect yourself from arm and shoulder injuries and ailments.
Other Resources :
More You Know About Musculoskeletal
Articles on Shoulder and Arm Pain
Polkinghorn BS. Chiropractic treatment
of frozen shoulder syndrome (adhesive capsulitis) utilizing
mechanical force, manually assisted short lever adjusting
procedures. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
Feb. 1995; vol. 18, no. 2, pp105-15.
Conroy DE, Hayes KW. The effect of joint mobilization
as a component of comprehensive treatment for primary shoulder
impingement syndrome. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports
Physical Therapy, Jul. 1998; vol. 28, no. 1, pp3-14.
Winters JC, Sobel JS, Groenier KH, et al. Comparison
of physiotherapy, manipulation, and corticosteroid injection
for treating shoulder complaints in general practice: Randomized,
single blind study. British Medical Journal, May 3,
1997; vol. 314, pp1320-25.
Lear LJ, Gross MT. An electromyographical analysis
of the scapular stabilizing synergists during a push-up progression.
Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy,
Sp. 1998; vol. 28, no. 3, pp146-57.
Jordan A, Ostergaard K. Implementation of neck/shoulder
rehabilitation in primary health care clinics. Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Jan. 1996;
vol. 19, no. 1, pp36-40.
Brier SR. Rotator cuff disease: Current trends in orthopedic
management. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,
Feb. 1992; vol. 15, no. 2, pp123-28.
Shrode LW. Treating shoulder impingement using supraspinatus
synchronization exercise. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological
Therapeutics, Jan. 1994; vol. 17, no. 1, pp43-53.