A painful shoulder is quite a common condition and there are many causes for it.
Referred pain – Although it might seem odd, your shoulder pain could be due to trouble elsewhere. For example, a nerve being irritated by the tension in your neck muscles/joints could affect your shoulder.
Bursitis and tendonitis – These are usually overuse injuries by excessive lifting, reaching or repetitive actions. This localised shoulder pain usually limits the mobility of the shoulder.
When these injuries are left, they build up tension in surrounding muscles and inflammation in and around the shoulder joint. Having yourself checked at the early stages with a Chiropractor can help you determine the cause of the symptoms early and get appropriate course of action.
Rotator Cuff Injury- This is when one or more of the rotator cuff tendons are inflamed or torn by injury. These tendons tend to hold your arm in place and stabilise the shoulder. Again Shoulder pain and restricted movement are a result of the injury to these tendons.
Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis) – This is an injury which causes scar tissue to develop in and around the shoulder joint and restricts the shoulder’s mobility progressively until it freezes the movement completely in a “capsular pattern”.
Capsular pattern means that the hardest movement is reaching into the back pocket, putting bra on; then the next hardest movement is raising the arm at your side and the next hardest is bringing your arm up straight ahead of you. And so on.
The causes of frozen shoulder are unknown, and can happen after overuse, for e.g. decorating or an old injury can lead to it, or it can just happen one day.
Once established it can be very painful to move your arm at all even for things like washing hair or putting your jumper on, or reaching for something. If this is left alone it will go through freezing and thawing phases of the condition, and it will self resolve in about 2 years. Having Chiropractic treatment can however, help to reduce the symptoms and resolve the problem much quicker in many cases.
Wear and tear – Every day use as well as old injuries can lead to progressive damage of the bones, tendons, and cartilage of your shoulder. Joint arthritis causes the surfaces of the two bones that make up the shoulder joint to rub together causing chronic pain and inflammation.
Joint Sprain – In the shoulder area there are two joints, the main shoulder joint between the arm bone and the shoulder blade, as well as a small joint between the end of the collar bone and the shoulder blade. This small joint (Acromio-clavicular joint) in the shoulder area could be the cause of the shoulder pain in many cases, especially when the pain is not only is in the shoulder but also refers down to the arm.