Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is a complex ball-and-socket articulation that, unlike other joints like the hip, elbow and knee, relies on its stability from the nearby surrounding muscles.  There are many factors that can lead to shoulder pain.  They include:
Trauma:  Dislocations, fractures, sprains and strains
Arthritis:  Degeneration within the joint characterized by swelling and stiffness
Rotator cuff injuries: Caused by repetitive throwing which leads to irritation of the tendons of the shoulder.
Impingement:  Persistent irritation of the tendons of the rotator cuff by bones and ligaments of the shoulder
Rotator cuff tears:  Caused by repetitive overhead motions of the shoulder.

Frequently, shoulder pain can be the result of referred pain from joints and muscles of the neck.  Inflammation of the joints in the neck can refer pain to areas or patches of pain over the back and over the shoulder blades.

A common, yet often overlooked, condition that causes neck and shoulder pain is the upper cross syndrome (UCS).  UCS is the result of persistent and chronic poor posture. It is characterized by forward head posture and rounded shoulders that can occur with prolonged sitting.  The result is tightness of muscles in the upper back and shoulder and some muscles in the chest.  It also causes weakness of some muscles in the front of the neck and in the lower part of the shoulder blades.  This persistent muscle imbalance can lead to chronic shoulder pain and neck pain.  UCS can be successfully managed with the use of specific stretches and exercises for the upper extremities and back.

Many shoulder conditions can be managed conservatively and respond well to manual therapy and therapeutic exercises. 

Our office has successfully treated uncomplicated shoulder syndromes for over 20 years. 

Dr. McGee is the chiropractor for ECU Pirate Athletics.
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