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Shoulder Pain and Injuries

The shoulder is a unique part of our body that is really made of several joints that combine with tendons and muscles to allow a wide range of motion in the arm. The range of mobility of the shoulder is what allows you to scratch your back or throw a ball. However, without proper function or after an injury, the shoulder can become unstable - leading to pain and dysfunction. You may feel pain only when you move your shoulder, or all of the time. 

Quite often we see neck problems that cause shoulder pain. Nerves that exit your cervical spine can refer pain to your shoulder if they are pinched or inflamed. In some cases, you may not have neck pain. Herniated discs or pinched nerves in your neck can be quite serious and need to be evaluated by a professional. We can perform specific tests in the office and order x-rays and MRIs to evaluate the problem. Book an appointment to talk to us.


What are the common causes for shoulder pain? Most shoulder problems fall into these categories:

  • Tendon inflammation or tears

  • Instability

  • Arthritis



Bursae are small, fluid-filled sacs that are located in joints throughout the body, including the shoulder. They provide cushion between the bones and surrounding tissues. As your shoulder moves, they reduce friction between the muscles and bones. 


Bursae can swell with overuse and this can be very painful. We often see this occur with rotator cuff tendonitis. When these areas are inflamed or injured, many daily activities can become very difficult. Patients often report pain in their shoulder and difficulty with reaching overhead, lifting objects, and getting dressed.

Tendonitis and tendon tears

Tendons are cords of tissue that connect muscles to bones. They can become damaged with overuse and injury. Acute tendon problems are usually caused by excessive ball throwing or other overhead activities during work or sports. Chronic problems come from degenerative diseases like arthritis or repetitive wear and tear due to age. 


The most commonly affected tendons in the shoulder are the four rotator cuff tendons and one of the biceps tendons. When these tendons become inflamed, it can cause pain and stiffness. The pain caused by rotator cuff tears may be helped by physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care. If surgery is necessary, we can refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or specialist. 



Shoulder impingement occurs when the top of the shoulder blade (acromion) puts pressure on the underlying soft tissues when you lift your arm. The bursa and tendons of the rotator cuff become pinched and this makes daily activities very difficult. 


We can alleviate this pain with specific exercises and by using myofascial release to alleviate soreness in the area. Chiropractic adjustments of the shoulder is also known to provide relief from shoulder pain and impingement. 



Shoulder dislocations can occur from sudden injury or from overuse. Even after the dislocation has been reset, the shoulder can be prone to dislocation. This is because once the ligaments, tendons, and muscles around the shoulder become loose or torn, the shoulder becomes unstable. We can reduce the likelihood of this happening by strengthening the shoulder joint with physical therapy. Providing shoulder stability is also important for preventing the development of arthritis within the shoulder.  



Shoulder pain can also result from arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, but the most common is osteoarthritis. This is caused by wear and tear of the joint over time and it can cause  symptoms such as swelling, pain, and stiffness. Osteoarthritis develops slowly and the pain it causes worsens over time. We can help alleviate this pain with proper movement of the shoulder through chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. Acupuncture is also a highly effective way to alleviate shoulder pain caused by arthritis.

How do you get rid of shoulder pain? First you’ll need to know what is causing your pain. We can evaluate you and get to the root of the problem. In addition to the treatment we provide in our office, we can recommend therapeutic exercises you can do at home to alleviate pain. 


Which doctor can I consult for shoulder pain? Chiropractors in our Naperville office can help by diagnosing the problem, ordering imaging and tests, and providing treatment. If you need advanced care, we can refer you to a surgeon or specialist in the Naperville area.


If you are suffering from shoulder pain and are looking for relief, book an appointment in our Naperville office. Whether you want to return to playing your favorite sport or just want to participate in daily activities with less pain, we can help you start feeling like yourself again. If you’re looking for a chiropractor in Naperville, our office treats a wide range of shoulder problems on a daily basis. We have helped thousands of patients in the community and we are here to help get you out of pain. 

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