Your shoulder is one of the more complex joints in the body. Known as a ball and socket joint, the design of the shoulder allows such diverse activities as painting a wall, pitching a baseball, and lifting things over your head. Unfortunately, complex joints can be more prone to overuse or injury, which results in shoulder pain. When this occurs, an upper cervical chiropractor such as Dr. Allen Harrison of The Balanced Atlas in San Francisco can often help.

Shoulder Pain and Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder joint is the juncture of three major bones. The humerus, or large upper bone in the arm, connects with the shoulder blade (scapula) and the collarbone (clavicle). These bones are held in place and moved by a number of muscles, ligaments and tendons. The shoulder bursae are fluid-filled sacs that surround the joint and help to keep it lubricated. If any of these structures become inflamed from injury or overuse, it can cause pain. The supporting structures can also become overly tight, which limits motion and also makes the shoulder painful.

Causes of Shoulder Pain

The two most common precipitating factors in shoulder pain are acute injury such as a fall, and overuse such as repetitive motions in pitching, lifting or painting above your head. Many different conditions can result, among which are:

Shoulder dislocation – the joint itself is out of place. A minor dislocation, known as a subluxation, can be treated by an upper cervical chiropractor, but a completely dislocated shoulder is an emergency that must receive immediate treatment.

Shoulder bursitis – the shoulder bursae can become inflamed and painful, usually from overuse.

Frozen shoulder – it’s normal to limit activity when you hurt. Over time, however, you can develop adhesions in the tissues that limit full range of motion.

Rotator cuff problems – the term rotator cuff describes a group of muscles that support and connect the scapula to the other bones in the shoulder blade. Muscles in the rotator cuff can become inflamed or even tear, resulting in shoulder pain and limited motion.

Sprains and Strains – like any muscle, those in the shoulder can be injured from being stretched too far. Unless treated promptly, they may cause a frozen shoulder or shoulder subluxation.

Tendinitis – when the tendons in the shoulder become inflamed, it is known as tendinitis. Chronic tendinitis can lead to other problems such as a frozen shoulder.

Contact The Balanced Atlas Today

Whether your shoulder pain is the result of an acute injury, overuse, or poor body mechanics, Dr. Harrison should be able to help. A NUCCA chiropractor, he is specially trained and certified to deal with upper cervical and shoulder problems. Please contact us today at (415) 242-1472. We are located at 2121 19th Avenue Suite 100, San Francisco, CA.