Chronic Shoulder Pain: There is Hope!

How common is Shoulder Pain? In my office it comes in a close "third" to chronic neck pain/headaches and lower back pain/sciatic pain. According to current medical statistics found in the American Academy of Pain Medicine; shoulder pain affects nearly 1 in 10 American adults. According to Mario Pribicevi's chapter (The Epidemiology of Shoulder Pain: A Narrative Review of the Literature) in the 2012's Pain in Perspective, there are numerous studies putting the incidence of Shoulder Pain higher than the published projection of one in ten. A recent scientific study demonstrated that 15% of men and 25% of women experienced shoulder pain which directly correlates with a larger study conducted overseas examining major population pools in many regions of Europe. The findings? They found that nearly 1 out of 5 people experienced varying degrees of Shoulder Pain. This is a huge statistic and numerous studies also demonstrate that Chronic Shoulder Pain is not only painful but highly debilitating as it relates to their activities of daily living and how leading a normal and productive life is concerned.

There are so many different areas of the shoulder region that can be the cause of a person's shoulder pain and unfortunately, not all of them respond favorably to conservative care. The shoulder complex is a highly complex structural and dynamic grouping of anatomical and functional joints and they all have to be evaluated individually as well as together as a multi-functional unit.

There are several types of common shoulder problems that I can typically help people with and some of them include:

  • Rotator Cuff Problems: This condition is severity dependent i.e., the extent to which there is tendon tearing. Tendon rupture or fraying is a common cause of pain and it is often not in need of surgery when the tendon is not completely torn. "Tissue Remodeling" is a form of treatment utilizing Cold Laser combined with other energy therapies. Be aware that exercises / stretches / strengthening can often help these conditions but specificity is a must and one person's therapeutic exercise could very well cause a complete tear of a tendon in another person with the same condition. That's why it is important to get treatment from someone who has been trained and certified in Physical Medicine such as exercise rehabilitation. Utilizing conservative methods prior to surgery is highly recommended and I am certified through Baylor College of Medicine's Sports Medicine Institute and was the instructor of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at Texas Chiropractic College.

  • Supraspinatus Problems: The Supraspinatus muscle/tendon complex is one of the four muscles that make up the Rotator Cuff. It also happens to be the most commonly injured soft tissues in the shoulder complex. Research studies published through the years illustrate that close to 90% of chronic pain and injury cases, the Supraspinatus is involved in the process of Rotator Cuff problems. Fortunately, the supraspinatus is also one of the easier structures to access and treat as it is relatively close to the surface of the skin.

  • Bicep Tendinosis: Although Biceps tendinosis is commonly mistaken for a Rotator Cuff problem, it is not. This is likely because the Biceps Tendon attaches near (just below) the "point" of the shoulder. Our conservative treatment approach works well for most biceps problems and even though the Biceps Tendon is not considered to be part of the rotator cuff it is a commonly injured structure along with the Rotator Cuff.

  • Fascial Adhesions: This is probably the single most common cause for Shoulder Pain that we see at The Conklin Clinics. The medical community will refer to these injuries as "sprains and strains" or pulled muscles. In most cases, this condition responds quite well to Tissue Remodeling, Specificity Stretch and strengthening.

  • Radiculopathy: Although this can sometimes be due to Disc Herniation, far more often it is the result of something called "radiculopathy". Radiculopathy is analogous to sciatic which of course involves pain traveling down and into a leg except this pain occurs in the shoulder, arm, and hand. People will often experience numbness, tingling, pain and weakness as the result of nerve interference often caused by subluxations that occur in the lower neck / upper back. Bear in mind that while Radiculopathy can cause pain and other symptoms in the shoulder, it can in no ways be considered a true "Shoulder Problem".

  • Shoulder Arthritis: Degenerative Arthritis (also called Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease) is a truly a bad deal. However, if appropriate lifestyle changes are made with treatment such as joint manipulations, cold laser therapy and energy therapy along with some home exercises amazing things can be accomplished for this all too common problem. Don't wait, without treatment the shoulder will continue to degenerate and you will likely need surgery.

  • Adhesive Capsulitis also known as Frozen Shoulder Syndrome: This is where the ligamentous "capsule" that surrounds the shoulder joint, "freezes" and adheses like "shrink wrap" to the shoulder complex. The function of the shoulder joint "capsule" is to provide dynamic structural support during motion and also in keeping the joint lubricated. Unfortunately, my deep tissue and tissue remodeling cannot reach an adhesed shoulder capsule as it is too deep. Fortunately, with modern technology the use of Cold Laser can do wonders for it and we have 4 cold lasers at our office. The shoulder complex will likely require some hardcore therapy and stretching as well (some of which you can do at home). Because this is another one of those problems with "itis" in the name, getting Inflammation out of the shoulder joint is critical for full resolution.

Give is a call...281-862-0800.

Disclaimer: The information found on this webpage is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician or legal advice from a licensed attorney. Any concerns or questions related to your injuries or pain patterns whether acute or chronic, and their legal impact and consequences, if any, need to be conducted with appropriate legal counsel. Any concerns or questions related to your injuries and/or pain patterns whether they are deemed acute or chronic, and their short term or long term physical impact and consequences, need to be conducted with an appropriate licensed physician. The information found on this page is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose, treat and/or educate for purposes of treatment and/or educate for the purposes in the self treatment of your injury or injuries or pain patterns.