Chiropractic care for a shoulder injury is very effective and can help relieve shoulder pain and rotator cuff problems. Today, we’re going to cover a little about the subscapularis muscle, which is often overlooked but has a big role in shoulder pain and rotator cuff problems. It’s one of the 4 primary rotator cuff muscles and can contribute to the poor movement of the arm and shoulder girdle if it isn’t healthy.
Subscapularis and Shoulder Problems
The subscapularis is primarily responsible for medial (internal) rotation of the humerus (arm) and adduction of the humerus (bringing the arm out to the side.) An easy way to test the muscle to see if yours is weak is to stand against a wall, put your arm behind your back with your hand facing out, and push out against the wall. You’ll probably notice a weakness on the side with the shoulder problem. The nerves responsible for contraction of the muscle are the upper and lower subscapular nerves which are comprised of nerve roots from C5, 6, and 7. It can be helpful to get this area adjusted by a chiropractor because the weakness could be resulting partially from joint dysfunction in this area of the spine.
Subscapularis and Scapula Rotation
The subscapularis muscle is consistently overlooked while providers focus on the other rotator cuff muscles. It is a very difficult muscle to locate and evaluate because it’s located on the anterior portion of the scapula, so it’s really located between the scapula and thoracic cage. Locating it requires you to go into the armpit area and differentiate between the lats and teres major muscles. The subscapularis is very important because is involved with the rotation of the scapula that happens when we bring our arms our to the side. Lots of people with shoulder pain have a poor scapular rotation and this plays into the structural, movement, and tissue problems of the shoulder.
Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain
Chiropractic care is a perfect treatment for shoulder dysfunction. At AccessHealth we work with a lot of patients who have shoulder pain, shoulder tenderness, shoulder dysfunction, rotator cuff tears, rotator cuff tendonitis, and other shoulder conditions. In general treatment usually consists of joint mobilization techniques and chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue work, and PT or rehabilitation exercises. Our chiropractors spend more time with the patient so the conditions can resolve in fewer visits.
Exercises for the Subscapularis
- Wing Exercises: Place your hand on your belly between the sternum and navel. Press your hand into your belly while you attempt to rotate your elbow forward. Make sure not to bend the wrist or move the elbow forward.
- Lift-Off Exercises: While standing bend forward slightly at the waist. Place your hand behind your back with the palm facing out. Lift the hand off your back and press outward without moving the elbow.
- Internal Rotation with Band: This exercise requires a resistance band. Attach the band to a stable attachment point about waist high. Bend your arm to 90 degrees and hold it in front of you (parallel to your abdomen) about 4 inches away. Now keeping the elbow in place bring the hand in towards your belly.
Make sure to call our Milton chiropractors if you’re interested in a free consultation or treatment. The Milton Chiropractic Pain Clinic is located in Milton, ON on Bronte Street South, and we can be reached at (905) 462-1192 for scheduling.