Conditions We Treat

Shoulder Pain Treatment/ Impingement

Why stretching alone isn’t enough to fix your shoulder pain, and how to ease your pain at home!

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Gentle exercises.


Techniques and strategies to overcome your shoulder pain and get back to lifting!

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Why do I still have shoulder pain?

It’s a common misconception that shoulder pain will just go away on it’s own. Primary care physicians still prescribe rest, ice, or NSAIDs for musculoskeletal issues, but unfortunately those things are not going to fix the problem. They may cool the issue down or block the pain for awhile, but once you stop taking your Advil the pain and aggravation of not being able to participate in your favorite activities comes right back. 

Does this sound like you?

  • Your shoulder pain came on weeks or months ago but you’re still living with it because you thought it would sort itself out on its own?
  • Your doctor prescribed six weeks of rest, but after taking that rest and missing out on doing the stuff you love to do, your shoulder is still bothering you just as much or even worse than before?
  • You found some shoulder stretches on Youtube that looked like they would be helpful but you’re not sure if they are really making a difference and sometimes they even feel aggravating?
  • You tried physical therapy at the suggestion of your MD but it was through a large institution and felt generic and very hands-off?
  • Your friends, family members, or teammates have told you that shoulder pain is normal and that you just have to work through it?
  • Maybe you even tried some massages at the local spa but even though it felt ahhhhh….relaxing, you feel like they didn’t really focus on your shoulder or know how to get to the root of your pain? 

Causes of shoulder pain:

Muscle adhesions: Any of the muscles that cross the joints of the shoulder (or connect via fascial connections) to other muscles that do cross the joints) can become overworked and develop adhesions.  This can be any of the muscles of the rotator cuff (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis), trapezius, rhomboids, pec major, pec minor, biceps, lats, and many others.

Capsule adhesions: Deep within the ball and socket joint of the shoulder is a layer of tissue that holds the head of the humerus in place, and this is called the shoulder capsule.  Just like muscles in the area, the shoulder capsule may also develop adhesions due to overuse.

Shoulder dislocation: The humerus slides anterior and inferior in relation to the scapula, causing severe pain.  This is usually due to a trauma such as a fall or a collision.

Shoulder subluxation: This term technically means “less than a dislocation”.  It’s a small mis-alignment or fixation that can occur with either a fall or through chronic poor posture or repetitive activities.

Bursitis: There are several fluid-filled protective sacs in the shoulder area that serve as pillows to cushion the shoulder.  With repetitive motion or trauma, any one of these bursa may become inflammed or injured.

Shoulder impingement: The space between the shoulder and the arm basically gets smaller.  This can happen due to chronic posture habits, repetitive strain, or injury.

Rotator cuff tear: An injury to any of the rotator cuff muscles mentioned previously that causes a tear to the muscle fibers.

A/C ligament tear: An injury to the acromio-clavicular ligament that connects your collarbone to your shoulderblade.  Often known as a shoulder separation.  This may be caused by a fall on an outstretched arm.

Shoulder pain treatment with Active Release Techniques:

In order to formulate a treatment plan, your chiropractor must first diagnose your pain correctly.

For each cause of shoulder pain, there is a unique treatment approach.  For the most common causes of adhesion in the shoulder muscles and/or shoulder capsule, Active Release Techniques is the most frequently prescribed treatment because it actually reduces the adhesions and allows the shoulder’s biomechanics to function properly.

Oakland Chiropractor Shoulder Pain Treatment with Active Release Techniques
Oakland Chiropractor Treats Shoulder Pain with Active Release Techniques
Oakland Chiropractor Shoulder Pain Treatment using Kinesiotape
Shoulder Pain Treatment w/ Kinesio Taping

Active Release Techniques is a hands-on soft tissue treatment system, which involves shortening a muscle, the practitioner taking a thumb or hand contact on the adhesion, and then lengthening the muscle to break down the adhesion.  This is a 100% natural treatment approach, which allows you to spare the stress and cost associated with drugs and surgery.

Shoulder subluxation is also frequently treated in a chiropractor’s office.  Specific extremity adjusting protocols are used in order to get the shoulder to seat in the right position, and to restore it’s necessary motion and function.  Supporting treatments including Kinesiotaping and rehabilitation exercises may also be prescribed in the treatment of shoulder pain.

We will listen to what you’re experiencing with your shoulder pain and what you’ve tried already. Then we will help you connect the dots with what’s been missing from that approach and show you the plan for how we can help you correct your shoulder problem. 

If you are tired of suffering with shoulder pain and would like to schedule a free consultation with an Oakland chiropractor, please call (510) 465-2342 or click the button below.

Other Conditions We Treat

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