Shoulder Pain and
Chiropractic Treatment


The term “frozen shoulder” is commonly used to describe any persistent shoulder pain and restricted movement. However, shoulder problems can be complex and require a thorough assessment to be accurately diagnosed. As with any other joint problem, the success of any treatment depends on correct diagnosis and cooperation between patient and practitioner.

There is a need to clarify some common misconceptions of shoulder problems seen in chiropractic practice.

Frozen Shoulder

Frozen shoulder without any known cause starts with pain. This pain prevents you from moving your arm. The lack of movement leads to stiffness and then less motion. Over time, you become unable to perform activities such as reaching over your head or behind you. Pain will be felt if you try to exceed the limited movement. This stage is sometimes referred to as the ‘freezing’ stage. Eventually, the condition progresses until all movement is greatly restricted – “frozen” stage.

Usually, pain is not really felt at this stage but movement is totally restricted. During recovery, the reverse of this process occurs, when pain is again experienced but once movement is restored, the pain diminishes. Early diagnosis is vital because the condition is reversible. Once it has progressed into the adhesive/frozen stage, some persistent restriction may remain. There are two criteria for how long the recovery period will take; one how long the problem has existed and the other, the severity of the problem.

Rotator Cuff / Tendonitis / Tear

The rotator cuff muscles play an important role in the movement of the shoulder. They consist of the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and teres minor muscles. The rotator cuff tendon is a major source of pain which is usually due to trauma or overuse. Tendonitis is when it becomes inflamed; the chiropractor will be able to move the shoulder noting only a slight loss in movement due to pain. Whereas, with frozen shoulder the chiropractor will not be able to move the joint.


Bursas are fluid filled sacs that surround certain joints of the body and act to prevent excess friction between tissues and/or bony surfaces.  In the shoulder, you will find the sub-deltoid bursa that lies underneath the deltoid muscles .When these sacs undergo trauma or stress they become inflamed and fill with fluid which can then result in extreme pain. This inflammation and swelling of the sac is the condition known as Bursitis.  In most cases Bursitis is normally first treated with rest and ice after the initial onset. This is to reduce the amount of inflammation and swelling. Chiropractors often treat this condition, people report having  less pain and increased range of motion with treatment.

There are a few other causes of shoulder pain such as;

  • Fractures and dislocations cause shoulder pain, due to their severity though they are commonly treated in emergency departments.
  • Arthritis of the shoulder joint, natural wear and tear, will produce shoulder pain though with these conditions you will have experienced previous problems.
  • Back pain problems may also “refer” or send pain symptoms elsewhere in the body.
  • Gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis) can refer pain into the right shoulder joint but with no loss in actual movement of the shoulder joint.
  • Heart attacks can refer pain into the left shoulder and arm.

The good news is a chiropractor is trained to address low back pain and other issues for you. If you are seeking pain relief today, call now.

If you have extended health benefits, you either use them or lose them every year. Why not use them? You do not need to be referred by your doctor to see a chiropractor for low back pain or other conditions. You will receive an individually tailored chiropractic treatment program. Friendly, professional care in Hamilton Ancaster Ontario. We are here to help you, your family or your friends effectively manage or eliminate your back pain….. contact us to schedule your FREE 15 minute chiropractic consultation. Call now.

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