Did you know that the shoulder is the most mobile joint of the whole body? If you think about it, there isn’t much you can do when you suffer from an injury to this portion of your body. There may be several contributing factors associated like chronic pain, inflammation and damage in this area. Those who suffer from damage and deterioration of this joint suffer from reduced range of motion and strength in the affected arm. Injury to the shoulder may cause radiating pain through the arm and the back which can negatively impact overall quality of life.
Your shoulder is composed of many nerves, muscles, and bones which work synergistically to provide movement. Your range of motion is supported by different bones called the scapula, the clavicle, and the humerus. Muscles surround bones to support their movements and protect from damage, while nerves provide electrical messages which stimulate movement. Any damage to these tissues will decrease how well it moves. Additionally, damage to these parts of the shoulder swells due to inflammation which cause extensive pain in the patient.
Any damage to these structures may render the joint immobile while producing discomfort in the shoulder, neck and back. Loss of motion in the shoulder may be caused by an injury to the bone or nerves and muscles surrounding this structure. Degeneration of this joint may also be caused by acquired conditions and disease processes which deplete nutrients from the area, which inhibit normal cellular growth. Conditions that cause shoulder pains are:
- Arthritis (a degenerative disease)
- Bone and joint abnormalities such as bone spurs or tumors
- Bursitis (inflammation of a joint)
- Muscle strain/overexertion
- Pinched nerves and muscles
- Muscular and skeletal misalignment due to poor posture
- Osteoarthritis, which worsens with age
- Shoulder dislocation/joint instability
- Tendonitis (generally in the rotator cuff)
- Traumatic injuries
Prolonged injury to this anatomical structure may cause further deformity of this joint which limits range of motion indefinitely. Sometimes, when the injuries sustained deeply penetrate tissues, it can lead to chronic swelling and infection of the shoulder which produces larger amounts of pain in the sufferer. In these situations, it is best to see a doctor to determine the severity of damage inflicted to your shoulder. A doctor may prescribe an X-ray, MRI, or a CT scan to get a better view of the damaged area. Similarly, they may also recommend an electrodiagnostic study to diagnose damage to nerves surrounding the structure.
Your body is a well-oiled machine that sometimes requires tweaking for optimal performance. There are several therapeutic techniques that can be utilized to reduce inflammation, swelling and tissue damage. The reduction of pain relies on the correct diagnosis of your condition, which is why it is imperative to see your doctor about your symptoms. To prevent extensive damage to your shoulder and surrounding structures, you should not ignore signs of pain as they can worsen over time due how frequently you use this limb. Once you are able to identify the origin of pain, it can be treated effectively.
As with any injury, surgery should only be considered as a last resort. For this reason, it can be beneficial to see a chiropractor first, like Dr. Furbee, to determine the source of the shoulder pain and possibly be able to treat you with much less invasive methods.