Shoulder Pain

About Us

Indian Harbor Chiropractic

Diana Gailes, DC

Chiropractor located in Cos Cob, CT

Shoulder pain is the third most common cause of musculoskeletal pain and the self-reported prevalence of shoulder pain is between 16% and 26%. Shoulder pain often involves pain, stiffness, weakness, and loss of range of motion that can cause disability and greatly affect one's ability to do basic daily activities (practice hygiene, eat, dress). If you struggle with severe or ongoing shoulder pain, experienced chiropractor Dr. Diana Gailes at Indian Harbor Chiropractic in Cos Cob, Connecticut, can help. She offers a variety of holistic treatments for shoulder pain to reduce discomfort, improve range of motion, and speed up your recovery. Dr. Gailes is the only chiropractor in Greenwich, CT that offers class IV laser therapy as an option for pain management and quick recovery as well. Call the office to schedule an appointment or book online today.

Shoulder Pain Q&A

What is shoulder pain?

Shoulder pain is an uncomfortable feeling in your shoulder joint, which is the joint that connects your upper arm to your torso. Shoulder pain is extremely common among young adults, adolescents, and older adults who have experienced shoulder trauma or play sports. Occupations as diverse as construction workers and hairdressers suffer shoulder injuries most often, which is usually caused by repetitive movements, vibrations, lifting heavy loads, and moving in awkward positions. Recent studies have shown that the tendency to develop into a chronic condition and recurrence of injury are common for shoulder pain, so prompt chiropractic care is recommended at the first signs of discomfort. Common symptoms of shoulder pain include:

  • Discomfort
  • Swelling
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Inability to raise your arm above your head
  • Bruising
  • Dull, aching pain
  • Severe or sharp discomfort
  • Shooting pain
  • Tingling
  • Numbness

You might injure your shoulder lifting something heavy, playing sports, working, falling down, or because of age-related wear-and-tear. Dr. Gailes and her team offer a variety of treatments to relieve shoulder pain.

What are common causes of shoulder pain?

The four most common causes of shoulder pain include the following:

  • Rotator cuff disorders - Rotator cuff tendinopathy is the most common cause of shoulder pain and often presents itself in the non-dominant arm. This is most common in occupations which involve heavy lifting and repetitive movements above shoulder level. A rotator cuff tear is usually caused by trauma in young people and is atraumatic in elderly people (related to degeneration).
  • Glenohumeral disorders - Frozen shoulder and glenohumeral arthritis are often characterized by deep joint pain and restrictive movement.
  • Acromioclavicular joint disease - Acromioclavicular disease is usually caused by a traumatic injury or osteoarthritis; dramatic joint dislocation can occur after injury (teenage to 30 years). Local pain, tenderness, and occasional swelling are experienced in the joint.
  • Referred neck pain - Usually pain is experienced in the lower neck lower and is referred to the shoulder and upper limb, restricting shoulder movement. Upper back, neck, and shoulder pain may result from cervical spine movement.

Other common causes of shoulder pain include:

  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Pinched nerve in shoulder
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Fractures
  • Bicep tendonitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis

Dr. Gailes can pinpoint the precise cause of shoulder pain and treat it naturally to restore joint function, reduce pain, decrease inflammation and improve your quality of life.

How does my doctor diagnose the cause of shoulder pain?

To find out what’s causing shoulder discomfort, Dr. Gailes discusses your symptoms and medical history. She will first go through the history of your shoulder pain and gather important information such as occupation, pain in other joints or areas, history of trauma, sleeping position, the dominant hand, functional abilities of the shoulder, etc. She will then perform a physical examination of the shoulder joint to test its rotation, range of motion, and power. She will evaluate nearby areas like the neck and arms and test to see if the pain arises from the shoulder or elsewhere (referred pain). She could recommend X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or other imaging procedures if necessary.

What are specific chiropractic methods used to treat shoulder pain?

At Indian Harbor Chiropractic we know that misalignments of the spine, or vertebral subluxations, can contribute to shoulder pain. Spinal manipulation during adjustments can restore movement to the joints or parts of the spine that have an alignment issue. We use a variety of techniques to adjust the spine and improve alignment including:

Chiropractic adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments can realign your spine or other parts of the body, reduce tension, and alleviate discomfort due to sciatica symptoms and pain.

Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT)

Spinal manipulation is accomplished through high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) adjustments. This is a technique where Dr. Gailes will apply a controlled thrust to a joint of the spine. This motion moves the joint more than it would on its own. SMT is actually a collection of techniques which include massage or mobilization of soft tissue, adjustment of spinal subluxations, trigger point therapy, cross-friction massage, active release therapy, and mechanical traction on an area of the spine or on an extremity.

Myofascial release

This technique uses gentle pressure to release tension in the muscles and fascia, relieving pain and improving range of motion.

Activator techniques

These adjustments use a small, handheld instrument to deliver low-force impulses at specific points.

What are some other chiropractic treatments used to treat shoulder pain?

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

TENS sends electrical pulses through the skin to start your body's own painkillers. The electrical pulses can release endorphins and other substances to stop pain signals in the brain. TENS can reduce pain. Tens also works on muscles and causes muscle contractions by stimulating α-motor neurons. It is highly effective in improving muscle function, strengthening muscles, and improving joint range of motion.

Massage Therapy

Dr. Gailes may use massage therapy with a variety of techniques to manipulate the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can help to reduce muscle tension, improve range of motion, and promote circulation.

Class IV Laser therapy

Dr. Gailes is currently the only chiropractor in Greenwich, CT offering Class IV Laser Therapy. Dr. Gailes uses chiropractic adjustments and laser therapy to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and speed up recovery times for all types of injuries. Laser therapy will reduce pain by over 50% in three to four treatments and can complement chiropractic adjustments or be used as an independent form of treatment.

Begin with chiropractic care today

To learn more about chiropractic treatments for shoulder pain and get relief, call the Indian Harbor Chiropractic office or schedule an appointment online today.



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