Total Health

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is extremely common in Australia. For many, shoulder pain can be niggling, however, in other cases, it can be extremely painful and limiting. There is a wide variety of different types and causes of shoulder injuries. Shoulders are complex in nature and appropriate treatment options differ dramatically. 

What are the common causes of Shoulder Pain?

There are many causes of shoulder pain. Common causes of shoulder pain include: 

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Inflamed bursa 
  • Traumatic injuries and sprains 
  • Nerve injuries 
  • Neck and upper back dysfunction
  • Referred pain from problems affecting the abdomen, heart, and lungs 

Chiropractic care may help with conditions that arise from these causes through a multimodal approach to health. 

Symptoms of Shoulder Pain

Symptoms that occur from the above conditions can range in their presentation and severity. Depending on the cause, you may experience the following symptoms: 

  • Pain towards the front, back or deep within the shoulder joint
  • Pain along the top and moving down the outside of the arm
  • Reduced movement of shoulder/arm 
  • Pain when moving shoulder/arm 
  • Loss of movement or ‘frozen’ shoulder 
  • Shoulder and/or arm weakness
  • Feeling of shoulder joint slipping out and back into the joint socket, or shoulder becoming completely dislodged (dislocated)
  • Pins and needles, numbness and tingling in the shoulder and down the arm

How can Chiropractic care help with shoulder pain?

The initial objective when treating shoulder injuries is to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A drug-free approach mainly consists of icing the joint. This has been proven to be as beneficial as anti-inflammatories. 

The next step is to restore movement to the shoulder, followed by strengthening the affected muscles. This process can be complemented by spinal adjustments to make sure the nervous input to the shoulder is uninterrupted and posture-related impact is taken into consideration. 

Supporting Research 

There is a number of quality sources of information relating to Chiropractic treatment and shoulder treatments, with one concluding – 

“The results suggest a moderate prevalence of shoulder pain in clinical practice with the most prevalent structure involved being the rotator cuff tendon. Most practitioners use a multimodal therapeutic treatment approach in managing disorders of the shoulder”

Another source concluded that – 

Spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients had clinically similar pain relief, greater satisfaction levels, and lower overall cost if they initiated care with DCs, when compared with those who initiated care with MDs”


Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009 Feb;32(2):107-17. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.12.005.

An epidemiologic survey of shoulder pain in chiropractic practice in Australia.

 J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015 Sep;38(7):477-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2015.06.015. Epub 2015 Aug 16.

First-contact care with a medical vs chiropractic provider after consultation with a swiss telemedicine provider: Comparison of outcomes, patient satisfaction, and health care costs in spinal, hip, and shoulder pain patients.

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