Total Health

Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain is an extremely common problem in Australia. For many it can be as simple as a niggle but in other cases it can be extremely painful and limiting. There are a number of different types and causes of shoulder injuries. Shoulders are complex in their nature and ranges of treatment options differ dramatically.

There are numerous causes of shoulder pain. Common and frequent causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Inflamed bursa
  • Traumatic injuries
  • Nerve injuries
  • Neck and upper back dysfunction

Chiropractic can help with conditions that arise from these conditions through a multimodal approach to health.

Symptoms that occur from the above conditions can range in their presentation and severity. Depending on what the cause is you may experience some of the following.

  • 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 and/or pain when moving the shoulder/arm
  • Shoulder and/or arm weakness, sensation such a slipping and catching when using the arm are commonly described and in severe cases the shoulder can become dislodged (dislocation) completely.
  • Pins and needles, numbness and tingling in the shoulder and down the arm
  • Loss of movement or ‘frozen’ shoulder


Which all shoulder injuries the initial objective it so reduce inflammation and relieve pain. A drug free approach will mainly consists off icing the joint which has been proven to be as beneficial as anti inflamatories.

The next step is to restore movement to the shoulder which is followed by strengthening the affected muscles. This is complemented by spinal adjustments to make sure the nervous input to the shoulder is uninterrupted and any posture related effects are taken into account.


There are a number of quality sources of information relating to chiropractic treatment and shoulder conditions 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”.  And another 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.
Pribicevic M1, Pollard H, Bonello R.

 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.
Houweling TA1, Braga AV2, Hausheer T3, Vogelsang M4, Peterson C5, Humphreys BK6.


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