causes shoulder and arm pain?
The cause of many instances of shoulder or arm pain is obvious. You do something
to injure the arm or shoulder and immediately feel pain. Or you begin feeling
the pain a day or so later. You may have broken a bone or dislocated your shoulder.
Perhaps you strained tendons or ligaments by carrying too much weight for too
long, by lifting something that was too heavy, overreaching or overexerting
your arm--as when playing sports when you're out of shape--or by keeping your
arm in an awkward position, or even by sleeping on the shoulder. The resulting
pain may range from an annoying ache to acute pain that makes it hard for you
to use the injured arm. Fortunately, the majority of such injuries are seldom
But there are other, less-obvious causes of shoulder or arm pain. Each is distinguished
by where it is felt, whether it comes on suddenly or over time, when it is
at its worst, if the pain extends to other joints in your body, and if other
symptoms--such as swelling, numbness, tingling, fever, fatigue, and insomnia--accompany
the pain. The causes of shoulder and arm pain include tendonitis, bursitis,
arthritis, and gout. Such pain may also result from a reaction to medications
such as penicillin, anti-anxiety drugs, and oral contraceptives. Whiplash injuries,
common in auto accidents, can also cause shoulder and arm pain.
Shoulder and arm pain may be referred from some other region of the body, as
when someone suffering a heart attack feels pain in the left shoulder and down
the left arm. The pain may also be referred from nerves associated with the
joints in the upper spine or "trigger points" in the back, which
are particularly responsive to chiropractic spinal adjustments designed to
treat such problems.
What can chiropractic
Your chiropractor will examine you and conduct diagnostic tests to determine
exactly what is causing your shoulder or arm pain. Because the causes and the
seriousness of different conditions are so varied, it is important to pinpoint
the cause and begin the most appropriate treatment. He or she will discover
if your problem is mild and transitory or serious and likely to trouble you
for a long time. A broken bone cannot be treated in the same manner as bursitis
or tendonitis. Arthritis and gout call for different care than pain originating
in nerves supplying the shoulder and arm. Your chiropractor will decide which
treatment will be best for you and if referral to a specialist will be necessary.
Chiropractic can be successfully employed to deal with so-called frozen shoulder,
a severe inflammation technically known as adhesive capsulitis. Chiropractors
are accustomed to relieving painful trigger points between the spine and shoulder.
Many chiropractors, especially those with additional training in sports medicine,
are experienced in the care and rehabilitation of professional and amateur
athletes who have injured their shoulders or arms. And all chiropractors can
help you modify your habits and lifestyle to protect yourself from arm and
shoulder injuries and ailments.