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Shoulder Pain

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What is Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain is a common complaint that can significantly impact daily activities and quality of life. Whether it's a dull ache, sharp twinge, or constant discomfort, shoulder pain can make simple tasks like reaching overhead, lifting objects, or even sleeping difficult. In this blog post, we'll explore the causes of shoulder pain and how chiropractic care can provide relief and promote overall shoulder health.

Shoulder Pain | Live Well Chiropractic

What are the Causes of Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder is a complex joint comprised of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that work together to provide a wide range of motion. This complexity also makes the shoulder susceptible to various injuries and conditions that can lead to pain. Some common causes of shoulder pain include:

Rotator Cuff Injuries

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilise the shoulder joint. Injuries such as tears or strains in the rotator cuff can cause pain and limited mobility.

Frozen Shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder is characterised by stiffness and pain in the shoulder joint, often resulting from inflammation and tightening of the joint capsule.

Shoulder Impingement

This occurs when the tendons of the rotator cuff become pinched or compressed between the bones of the shoulder, causing pain and inflammation.


Degenerative changes in the shoulder joint can lead to osteoarthritis, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.

Muscle Strains and Sprains

Overuse, repetitive motions, or sudden injuries can cause strains or sprains in the muscles and ligaments surrounding the shoulder joint, leading to pain and discomfort.

What are the Common Symptoms of Shoulder Pain?

Pain and Discomfort: The most obvious symptom of shoulder pain is discomfort in or around the shoulder joint. This pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, stabbing sensations and may be present both at rest and during movement.

Limited Range of Motion: Individuals with shoulder pain often experience difficulty moving their arm freely. This can manifest as reduced ability to raise the arm overhead, reach behind the back, or perform other basic movements without discomfort or stiffness.

Stiffness and Tightness: Tightness and stiffness in the shoulder joint and surrounding muscles are common symptoms of shoulder pain. This sensation can make it challenging to perform everyday activities and may worsen over time if left untreated.

Weakness: Weakness in the shoulder muscles may accompany shoulder pain, making it challenging to perform tasks that require strength, such as lifting objects or pushing/pulling movements.

Swelling and Inflammation: Inflammatory conditions like bursitis or tendonitis can cause swelling, redness, and warmth in the shoulder area. Swelling may be visible or palpable, and it often exacerbates pain and discomfort.

Popping or Clicking Sensations: Some individuals with shoulder pain report audible or palpable sensations of popping, clicking, or grinding when moving the shoulder joint. These noises may indicate underlying issues such as joint instability or cartilage damage.

Radiating Pain: Shoulder pain can radiate to other areas of the body, such as the neck, upper back, arm, or even the chest. This radiating pain may be indicative of nerve compression or referred pain from underlying musculoskeletal conditions.

How can Chiropractic Care help with Shoulder Pain?

Chiropractic care focuses on restoring proper alignment and function to the musculoskeletal system, including the spine, joints, and muscles. When it comes to shoulder pain, our chiropractors employ a variety of techniques to address the underlying causes and alleviate the symptoms:

Chiropractic Adjustments

Misalignments in the spine can affect nerve function and contribute to shoulder pain. Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper alignment, reducing pressure on nerves and promoting optimal nerve signaling to the shoulder.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Chiropractors may use techniques such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy to address muscle tension, improve flexibility, and reduce inflammation in the shoulder area.

Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave Therapy can effectively alleviate shoulder pain by reducing inflammation, promoting tissue healing, breaking down scar tissue, improving range of motion, and offering a non-invasive treatment option. This treatment is often used in conjunction with Chiropractic Adjustment for optimal results.

Functional Rehabilitation

Customised exercise programs designed to strengthen the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint can improve stability, mobility, and overall function.

Lifestyle modifications

Chiropractors provide guidance on ergonomics, posture correction, and injury prevention strategies to help patients avoid exacerbating shoulder pain.

When to Seek Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain

If you're experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's essential to seek professional evaluation and treatment, especially if the pain persists or worsens over time. Chiropractors are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, including shoulder pain. Here are some indicators that it's time to consult with a chiropractor:

  • Persistent or recurrent shoulder pain that interferes with daily activities.
  • Limited range of motion or stiffness in the shoulder joint.
  • Weakness or instability in the shoulder muscles.
  • Swelling, redness, or warmth in the shoulder area.
  • Difficulty sleeping due to shoulder discomfort.
  • Inability to find relief with self-care measures such as rest, ice, or over-the-counter pain medication.


Recognising the symptoms of shoulder pain is the first step towards finding relief and restoring optimal shoulder function. If you're experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, don't hesitate to contact us for a proper assessment and personalised treatment. With the right approach, you can address the underlying causes of shoulder pain and embark on a path towards improved mobility, comfort, and overall well-being.


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