Shoulder Pain
Published in the Times Standard
        One of the more difficult joints in the body to assess for pain is the shoulder. A lot of the problem is related to the anatomy. The shoulder is comprised of 3 joints; the glenohumeral, the acromioclavicular and the sternoclavicular. 3 bones make up the shoulder; the humerus or upper arm bone, the scapula or wing bone and the clavicle in the front. Most of the pain and problems in the shoulder have to do with the glenohumeral articulation. This joint is like a half-socket holding the humeral head in place with numerous ligaments, tendons and muscles. The shoulder must remain flexible to perform the wide range of movements of the arms and hand and yet strong for pushing, pulling and lifting. These functions compromise and this accounts for the large number of shoulder problems. Tendonitis, bursitis, fibrositis, impingement syndrome, frozen shoulder, sprains and strains and rotator cuff injuries are some of the more common names given to shoulder pain.
         Part of the analysis of the shoulder pain is of course the history and or mechanism of injury. It is also important to understand the type of pain, where it is located and what movements exacerbate. Often overlooked in the exam is the cervical spine, thoracic spine and its connection to the shoulder through the nervous system and associated muscular attachments. The lower cervical spine and upper thoracic spine have a network of nerves called the brachial plexus. This plexus supplies sensory and muscular information to the shoulder for proper function. If a segment of this complex network of nerves is restricted pain, weakness and numbness in the shoulder, arm or hands results. Without proper nerve flow, muscles spasm and are weakened. Many of the muscles of the upper back and cervical spine connect to the scapular borders and the clavicle. Function of these muscles affects shoulder range of motion and strength. Relieving and restoring nerve energy to these muscles often reduces the pain radiating to the shoulder. If the pain is at one of the 3 shoulder joints a few simple tests can be performed to check for humeral head or clavicular head subluxation or a slipped bicipital tendon. The bicipital tendon (from the bicep muscle) fits through a groove in the upper arm. In certain injuries it can slip out of its groove causing irritation with arm movement to the tendon and its sheath or covering. Painful tendonitis and swelling results. Simple, gentle manipulations can be performed to restore movement and function of these articulations and tendon as well as relieve the pain.
      Call for a free consultation to determine if your shoulder pain could be helped through chiropractic “naturally.”
Crosbie Chiropractic
Michael H. Crosbie, D.C.
1828 Main Street
Fortuna, CA 95540
(707) 725-5668