Shoulder Impingement Syndrome: Causes, symptoms, and treatment

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, a common cause for shoulder pain.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome, also known as Swimmer’s or Thrower’s shoulder, is a common over-use condition that occurs when the shoulder bursa or rotator cuff tendons become compressed within the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is comprised of the scapula, humerus and clavicle. The tip of the scapula, called the acromion process, joins the clavicle to create the acromioclavicular joint. The narrow passage below this joint, the subacromial space, is where compression occurs.

Those who perform repetitive overhead movement (athletes, laborers) are at the highest risk of developing shoulder impingement. However, as technology and careers have evolved, it is becoming more common in those with poor posture and rounded shoulders. Overuse and poor positioning of the shoulder can cause tendon microtrauma and inflammation of the rotator cuff muscles. This may cause thickening of the tendon, decreasing the diameter of the already narrow subacromial space. At this point, movement of the shoulder may cause the tendon to be pinched underneath the acromion, causing pain and limit range of motion.

There are a wide range of treatment options for shoulder impingement syndrome, including adjustments, manual therapy and exercise. When you visit your practitioner, their goal should be to discover the underlying cause of impingement. Is it due to a recent trauma to the shoulder, too many pull-ups and presses, or repetitive use of a tool overhead? Once the cause is determined, therapy can be applied accordingly. The first step should be to manage the pain and reduce the strain on the area. Limiting the use of the shoulder, in combination with cryotherapy, will help relieve pain and inflammation. You may be asked to modify or take time away from your job or sport in order to achieve this.

The next step is to reduce muscle tension, correct structural misalignments, and improve range of motion. Chiropractic adjustments of the neck, thoracic spine and shoulder will be effective in achieving improved function and may be done in conjunction with another soft tissue therapies such as instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM),  blood flow restriction therapy, or massage.

The final step in treating this issue is strengthening of the rotator cuff muscles and shoulder retractors and stretching the anterior shoulder and chest. By working to stretch and strengthen these muscles of the shoulder and back, proper posture and alignment can be restored and future damage may be prevented. Most of these strengthening exercises are performed with small dumbbells or resistance bands, making them very approachable and easy to do on your own. Your practitioner should provide you with a basic regimen to be done at home or at clinic visits.

In order to prevent this issue from occurring, you may implement the following strategies:

  • Maintaining a proper, upright posture with shoulders back when sitting or working
  • Using proper technique when lifting or performing exercises
  • Strengthening the rotator cuff and upper back muscles
  • Stretching the anterior shoulder and chest, neck and back muscles
  • Regular chiropractic visits

-Taylor Meyers, Intern Core Health Chiropractic

Chiropractic and Massage, Partners in Wellness

Deep Tissue Massage  in conjunction with the Chiropractic adjustment

Chiropractic and massage therapy work together simultaneously creating a synergistic effect resulting in much faster recovery time. Correction of one’s structure often occurs more easily and with less discomfort when both modalities are used together. The positive results of chiropractic care last longer when muscle tension is released, which might otherwise pull one’s structure back out of alignment.

Since massage therapy is good for the nervous system it is usually done before chiropractic treatments are given. The adjustments are much more effective this way. Sometimes the body can be so stiff that it resists the adjustments. When it becomes relaxed through massage, it allows the doctor of chiropractic to more easily realign various parts.

Chiropractic treatment is useful for treating people that are under constant physical and/or mental stress. Massage therapy can also be part of this treatment because of its beneficial effects. A person can be healthy in every other way, but have physical pain caused by tightness and stress. Through massage and chiropractic techniques they can be helped.

Massage, when used with chiropractic treatments, is also good for physical injuries such as those that happen in auto accidents. Injuries occurring from a variety of other activities as well as physical pain from stress benefit from both treatments. The immune system is stimulated by massage and chiropractic treatments along with blood circulation. By doing massage you are using the body’s natural energy to heal itself.

Since the massage increases the blood flow it can also help relieve headaches. Many people suffer from these on a regular basis. The improved circulation helps to decrease the pain and stimulate nerve flow.

You must be aware of the signs your body gives you for spinal stress, so that you can get to the chiropractor at the first signs of dysfunction. Spinal distress can bring on a tingling sensation in the legs, shoulder, and arms and sometimes even numbness. This is why it is important to address spinal problems immediately. Chiropractic and massage therapy can not only correct the problem but restore your natural energy that becomes lost when dealing with spinal distress.

The bottom line is that chiropractic and massage therapy are compatible forms of health care that share the goal of your total well-being, not simply an absence of illness. Both offer natural hands-on, drug-free techniques. They can be used as preventative as well as restorative therapies. When used in combination, they help you maintain your optimum health and wellness.

We now offer massage therapy at both our Uptown and Plymouth locations! Schedule online or give us a call to book your next massage!

Plymouth- 763-205-3783

Uptown- 612-872-9596

Posture Fix for Back and Neck pain

Sitting properly to reduce back pain

Neck and back pain due to posture is a growing problem.  A vast majority of our patients present with symptoms that arise from cumulative stress placed on the body through poor ergonomics.

Did you know that the average full-time worker spends 2/3 of their day sitting? Often thought of us a comfortable place of respite, chairs and the time we spend in them can greatly impact our bodies, forcing them into anatomically unsound positions. Hours on end spent in chairs is slowly crippling our bodies and our health. Your hamstrings shorten, your hips lose their ability to straighten and therefore generate power, and your lumbar-spine is forced to support the weight of your slouching-body. Unfortunately, in this modern age of instant communication, advanced medicine, and the ability to access information on the internet by just a few clicks of a button, much of this is unavoidable. Our jobs are much more sedentary than they used to be. So what is the modern day desk warrior to do?

While there is no perfect solution, here are some tips to keep your body as healthy as possible throughout the workday:

1. Be aware of your posture.

The easiest way to put yourself into a sound position without thinking about 40 checkpoints is to pay attention to your elbows.

 Yes your elbows.  If my elbows are in a good position in relation to my torso, then my shoulders are neutral, neutral shoulders gives a high likelihood to a neutral cervical spine and this keeps your upper body is in an ideal position with minimal tension levels. Don’t adjust your neck to see the screen. Instead adjust your chair and computer monitor. If you have to crane your neck too far downwards to see your computer screen, you naturally force your pelvis/lumbar to round and cave in.

2. Work some desk stretches into your daily routine.

We should be cultivating mobility daily regardless of where we are, so why not do it at your desk? And yes a standing desk or a desk that has the ability to adjust up and down is best but I realize it is a convenience that is not afforded at all work places, so if you don’t have the luxury then proceed to #3.

3. Stand up regularly.

Who will notice (or even care) if you stand up once every 30 minutes and get yourself out of that position of flexion. Many studies have shown benefits of leaving your desk at periodic intervals to walk around. Just remember to come back!

4. Be active OUTSIDE OF WORK.

As tempting as it is to get home and retire to the couch, use your time outside of work to MOVE your body the way it’s meant to be moved. Try some functional movement workouts or yoga. You will be surprised to find you actually feel better and more energized.

I hope these tips are helpful.

Visit http://www.corechiroclinics.com to learn about all the of the services we offer to help our patients

MOVE WELL, EAT WELL, BE WELL.

Don’t let me catch you slouching! Posture and what to do about it

Dr. Neil Crane

Ergonomic checklist

By now we’ve heard the term text neck , seen the photos of people slouched over a computer or craning their necks down at their phone, may have even had the ergonomic breakdown at work. But what are the implications of poor posture and how can it really affect you.

Before we get too far into the do’s and don’ts let’s get a better understanding of what bad posture is actually doing to your spine.   As you progress through development from infancy to sitting, sitting to crawling, crawling to standing, and standing to walking- running- jumping- etc., you are changing the dynamic of how your body holds and distrubutes weight throughout each phase.  In doing so, you form 3 primary curves of the spine.  First is the lordodic cervical curve that would look like a reverse c-shape from the side, second the kyphotic thoracic spine, and finally the lordotic lumbar spine.  Each curve serving a purpose for the overall stability of the spine and all the mechanisms that attach and rely upon this structure to function.  This shape and form is very intentional as our bodies are much smarter innately than we give them credit.   By forming this intentional shape, our weight is evenly distrubuted from our head down to our toes to transfer weight and force evenly from the spine to the extremities and allowing for the muscles, tendons, and ligments to peform their duties without becoming stressed. By changing any one of these shapes or curves in the spine, we thus alter the stress load throughout the entirety of the spine.   So by losing that curve in your neck or flexing your head down looking at your phone, you’re implicating every function thereafter that relies upon the shape.  Leading to tightness in the cervical flexor muscles (front of the neck)  weakening and overusing the cervical extensors muscles in the back of the neck and upper shoulders which leads to stiffness, tension, pain, headaches, loss of mobility, and eventually structural breakdown or degeneration of the spine. This is happening at an alarming rate as patients are presenting at as early as 18-20 years of age with symptoms consistent with the breakdown that was just described.  I’ve used the cervical spine as my example for the sake of simplicity but you could go through this process with each region of the spine and each region will be affected by the other once things begin to breakdown.

We all know technology is going no where and chances are we are going to spend more time sitting, in front of computer or phone than ever before.  So make the changes now to avoid having to deal with the complications later.

Posture checkpoints-

Head and neck must remain neutral – eyes level to the horizon

Elbows low and in contact with the torso

Shoulders back

Get up and move around!  Take breaks, alternate with standing if you have the option.

Exercising consistently is the most beneficial pro active measure you can take against bad posture

Focus on strengthening the upper back and core musculature to most efficiently offset negative stress due to posture

Please let me know if you would like to go over any posture related questions or concerns on your next visit.

Move Welll!