Chiropractic Care for Shoulder Pain

By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor

Shoulder pain is not just a single entity, but is a symptom associated with many different conditions. People can have shoulder pain because they simply strained a muscle, on one end of the spectrum; and they can have shoulder pain because they have bone on bone arthritis in the shoulder joint or a torn rotator cuff, at the other end. There are a wide range of conditions between these two extremes and in many cases chiropractic care for shoulder pain is very effective.


The shoulder has more mobility than any other joint in the body. This is because so much is required of it. Think about being able to reach your hand up the middle of your back but then also being able to reach across your front to scratch your opposite shoulder or reaching something on a high shelf. The natural mobility of this joint imposes particular demands on the shoulder and requires that all the muscles and tendons work in concert with one another. As a chiropractor, I see people with shoulder pain all the time. Sometimes they have shoulder pain because they have misalignments of the shoulder joint itself. They may also have shoulder pain because of misalignment of other related joints like the collarbone. Quite commonly we see people with shoulder pain because they have tendon issues like minor displacement of the biceps tendon. These are causes of shoulder pain that we treat every day in our office. Sometimes, even with long-standing shoulder pain, just by adjusting these various joints, shoulder function and strength is restored. It is interesting to see how much weakness occurs when a person has such misalignments in and around the shoulder. One of the phenomena that we observe all the time is the profound weakness that occurs when people have shoulder misalignments. This is part of the body’s strategy to maintain optimal function and prevent injury; it preferentially shuts down certain muscle groups. It is equally as amazing to see what happens to that strength when the misalignments are corrected. It is like flipping a light switch on; one second the muscles are off, and the next second they are on fully functioning.

In the event that shoulder pain is being caused by things like rotator cuff tears, arthritis, or even frozen shoulder, chiropractic adjustments can still facilitate function and reduce pain. Of course, we don’t adjust people that have severely torn rotator cuff tendons, but those injuries are relatively rare. We have helped many people with frozen shoulder, minor tears and arthritis. The key to our ability to help under these circumstances is that often the person experiences pain because of both the damaged tissue and the functional issues affecting the joints (misalignments).

The bottom line is that if you or someone you know and care for is struggling with shoulder pain, then the doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness in Edina are trained to assess whether you might be a candidate for conservative chiropractic care before you embark on such interventions as injections and surgery. We have helped literally thousands of patients with shoulder pain by doing safe and effective chiropractic adjustments. Schedule your appointment with us today.

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