January brought in a large number of shoulder complaints this year. These patient’s constant pain is often accompanied with significant decreased range of motion. Their symptoms drastically increase with simple activities and continue to ache when resting, doing nothing at all.
The shoulder joint (or rotator cuff) is a very complicated joint. When docs speak of the rotator cuff most are talking about the four large, broad muscles that perform the major actions of the shoulder. They are also the most often injured. However, there are many muscles and ligaments (dependent on anatomy) that attach in and around the shoulder complex. I have found in practice that most shoulder complaints stem from muscular imbalance.
My care for rotator cuff patients consist of the usual soft tissue work and spinal adjustment. I find it extremely important to affect the nervous system of the shoulder, which is housed in and branches from the neck. I also incorporate specific muscle release techniques in an effort to balance the aforementioned soft tissue complaints.
Patients report significant decrease in symptoms with these techniques alone. However, when deemed necessary, I also utilize acupuncture in conjunction with spinal and soft tissue care. It’s a great tool for managing inflammation, spasm and pain.