As the body’s most movable joint, the shoulders hold unique strength and mobility. Shoulder care is often overlooked, but can be highly beneficial in preventing long-term pain from developing in the future.
In fact, most proactive shoulder care strategies revolve around stopping the pain before it starts or rapidly worsens.
Shoulders are delicate, intricately functioning body parts with many different components that create an impressive range of motion. There are three bones that create the structure of the shoulder; the scapula (shoulder blade), the clavicle (collarbone), and the humerus (upper arm bone).
Shoulder muscles are skeletal muscles, meaning they are connected directly to the bone via tendons. This can create longer healing periods or more sensitivity when it comes to injuries and other conditions that may cause wear and tear.
While these muscles help the shoulder stretch and extend, without the two main joints that connect the bones together, the acromioclavicular joint and the glenohumeral joint, the shoulder wouldn’t have such wide capabilities.
Shoulder pain can come from many places, but treating it can be a game of trial and error if you attempt recovery blind. Thankfully, long-lasting pain relief may be closer than you think.
At Optimum Health Rehabilitation Center, you’ll find comprehensive care for your shoulder pain. The licensed chiropractors, physical therapists, and pain treatment experts at Optimum are equipped to tackle the root of your pain and help you find long-term relief.
Take control of your health with the resources available from our local team of professionals. To speak with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404)793-1600.
Common Methods of Shoulder Pain Treatment
Shoulder pain can show up out of nowhere or develop gradually. Either way, the main focus is finding a way to resolve the discomfort. Most pain relief journeys start at home, but to treat shoulder pain with over-the-counter methods, a sufferer is restricted to topical creams and preventive care like eating more joint-healthy foods.
Some foods that proactively target joint health and prevent inflammation include nuts, olive oil, root/cruciferous vegetables, and berries.
Depending on the cause of your pain, you may also find relief from a hot or cold compress. Heat relaxes muscles, so sharp or shooting pains caused by overexertion may be subdued by a hot compress.
On the other hand, shoulder injuries can cause aches and spasms that may calm when iced. A cold compress can reduce swelling and prevent inflammation from spreading in an injured shoulder.
Limited range in mobility or ongoing pain in the shoulder can be serious if left untreated. Without proper attention, stiffness in the shoulder can become permanent if not for surgery and other invasive treatment methods.
These processes can be physically exhausting and leave the sufferer with a painful recovery. Treat shoulder pain proactively and address the problem before it gets out of hand.
Most commonly, one of the first treatment methods a doctor may offer is prescription pain medication. While painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective in targeting the symptoms of the pain, they do very little in preventing the cause of the pain from returning.
This can leave a shoulder pain sufferer reliant on this medication instead of utilizing it as a stepping stool toward recovery. Pain medicine can always be used as a supplement to other treatment methods by making any pain or shoulder resistance easier to tolerate.
Another popular treatment method for stubborn shoulder pain is corticosteroid injections which target inflammation in certain, small areas of the body like the shoulders, more specifically in the joints.
These injections are proven to have a rapid anti-inflammatory effect but may result in a painful flare-up of discomfort for up to 48 hours after the injections. After this period, the pain is said to dramatically decrease and leave long-lasting relief.
Another injection option comes from regenerative therapy. Platelet-rich placenta (PRP) injections utilize nutrients from your own placenta, derived from a sample of your blood, and encourage the rapid promotion of your body’s natural healing processes.
This method is most effective for those suffering from tendon injuries and ligament damage but can be useful for reducing pain in chronic conditions like certain forms of arthritis.
Physical rehab is a comprehensive treatment method that can be beneficial for many of the most common shoulder pain-causing ailments and conditions. A licensed chiropractic specialist can provide shoulder pain relief by making manual adjustments to the spine, promoting realignment and relieving discomfort.
What Causes Ongoing Shoulder Pain?
The best way to relieve persistent shoulder pain is to target and treat the root of the problem. The shoulders are a complex mechanism with many moving parts, and that leaves this delicate area more susceptible to damage.
There are many causes of shoulder pain, but there are some more common explanations that affect many people all over the world every day.
- Shoulder impingement syndrome: This is when a tendon rubs up against the edge of the shoulder blade and pinches the rotator cuff below. This condition is also known as “swimmers shoulder” because of the repeated motion that leaves swimmers vulnerable to this type of strain.
- Avascular necrosis: This happens when bone tissue fails from a lack of blood supply and can weaken bones and lead to tiny breaks all throughout the bone that will eventually cause it to collapse. Avascular necrosis can affect anyone but is most common in those who use high doses of steroids or alcohol.
- Tendinitis: Tendons and ligaments connect the essential pieces of the shoulder together to finalize the complex mechanism. Tendons are thick and fibrous cords that simply bridge together muscles and bones. Tendons are easily inflamed; injuries, overexertion, or pre-existing conditions can all cause sensitivity to inflammation in the shoulder tendons. Tendinitis is the condition that reflects said inflammation, causing pain around the outside of the whole joint. Tendinitis can happen in any tendon but is most common in the shoulders, knees, and wrists.
- Frozen shoulder: Frozen shoulder can happen when a person keeps their arm immobile for long periods of time. This is a common result of healing from an injury. Known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder condition is generally easily reversible with mobilization exercises and physical therapy. It is caused by inflammation in the shoulder joint. Frozen shoulders can also be more common in people with diabetes. Treating frozen shoulders can be easier with a physical therapist because a professional can target specific pain points and promote a more rapid healing process.
- Thoracic outlet syndrome: TOS is a category of disorders that can happen when the blood vessels in the thoracic region are compressed. The thoracic region extends from the collarbone to the first rib, but more specifically, the thoracic outlet is located from the low end of the clavicle to the upper arm region. TOS is common in car accident-related trauma patients, laborers in strenuous fields, athletes, and pregnant women. Compression of the blood vessels in the thoracic region can result in redness, numbness, and feeling cold to the touch in the affected area.
- Arthritis: There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, and many of them can cause symptoms like extreme shoulder pain. One in four adults reports a diagnosis of shoulder pain. This auto-immune condition is most common in older adults but can develop early from injuries or genetic predispositions. While there is no cure for arthritis, many treatment methods like pain medication and physical therapy can provide life-changing relief from painful symptoms.
Breaks, fractures, and shoulder dislocation: The shoulders are especially easy to injure — anything from impact to improper rotation can cause a severe injury. Shoulder injuries have a complex and extensive recovery process because of the joint structure. Shoulders are skeletal muscles, which means that any injury requires the rebuilding of not only muscle but rebuilding of the muscles fuse to the bone. Breaks and fractures in the shoulder can have a longer healing time than a similar injury in another part of the body because of this sensitivity. Shoulder injuries will require immediate medical attention, followed by rest, proper diet to target inflammation, and follow-up care such as physical therapy.
Repair and Relieve Your Shoulder From Persistent Pain at Optimum Health in Tucker
Working with a pain specialist can help you feel more confident in your treatment and prevent you from treating your healing journey like an experiment. At Optimum Health Rehab in Tucker, we offer care to many types of patients including injury victims and those suffering from chronic conditions like arthritis.
Our facility is equipped with resources including licensed chiropractic specialists and regenerative therapy options to treat many causes of shoulder pain. A trusted member of our team is standing by to help you.
A skilled chiropractor from Optimum will work with you to personalize a course of action that targets, relieves, and prevents pain in your shoulders. Our staff is committed to providing aid to each patient that we see and is dedicated to their long-term wellness.
To get in touch with a trusted member of our team, contact us online or call (404)793-1600.