Shoulder impingement, also known as impingement syndrome, is a condition that occurs when there is an injury to the rotator cuff, the muscles that move the arm and are located beneath the shoulder bone. It is a condition that is becoming increasingly common in older patients. Thankfully, while most of the typical treatments require invasive injections or surgery, there are some chiropractic alternatives available.
What causes shoulder impingement?
Shoulder impingement is caused when the muscles in the shoulder are injured and become inflamed. Unlike the rest of the body, where bone is covered by muscle, the rotator cuff is actually covered by the shoulder bone. Symptomatically, it is very similar to both shoulder bursitis and rotator cuff tendinitis.
Once the rotator cuff has begun to swell, it will begin to fray during use from rubbing up against the shoulder bones. If left untreated, the rotator cuff can even tear in two. A torn rotator cuff can cause a host of problems, up to and including arm weakness and the inability to raise the arm.
What can a visit to my chiropractor do for shoulder impingement?
Once your chiropractor has determined that your pain indeed being caused by shoulder impingement rather than a more serious diagnosis, they can begin treatment designed to alleviate the pain caused by the condition.
Studies have shown that even though most doctors treat shoulder impingement with pain management and intramuscular injections, chiropractic readjustments and therapy can actually be more effective.
The first step in this treatment will be to realign your spine and make sure there are no abnormalities that could be causing or exacerbating the impingement. This can help to reduce normal wear and tear on the affected shoulder joint.
Next, he or she may choose to use a technique known as cross friction massage, either alone or paired with electro stimulation therapy. This is designed to relax the muscles and reduce inflammation, which can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.
What about physical therapy?
A visit to your physical therapist for treatment of shoulder impingement should be done in conjunction with a visit to your chiropractor. The combination of the two styles of treatment has been shown to be exceedingly effective.
A physical therapist will teach the proper stretches and exercises that you should continue at home to help encourage strength, flexibility, and healing. They will also be able to teach you new ways to handle everyday tasks to compensate for arm or shoulder weakness.
Shoulder impingement is becoming more common, and can result in dramatic damage if not treated as soon as possible. If you believe you are experiencing the symptoms related to shoulder impingement, shoulder bursitis, or rotator cuff tendonitis, make an appointment with your local chiropractor as soon as possible.
It is much easier to learn the proper exercises to strengthen and relax your rotator cuff than it is to relearn how to use an entire arm because of a torn shoulder muscle. Call today and find out what your chiropractor can do for you.
For more information contact us at 905-462-1192 today!