Are you ignoring your nagging shoulder pain? Has it been months and nothing has changed? Unsure why your pain started and how you can help yourself?
Pain happens to everyone and often for no known cause. Take for instance, my 38-year-old IT client working from home for the last 6 months. He couldn’t understand why he was experiencing shoulder pain without any injury. After explaining working from his makeshift home office for the last 6 months for 8 hours a day, it was obvious. His poor posture, combined with poor ergonomics and long work days was a recipe for shoulder impingement.
What if I told you that you can fix your shoulder impingement with 5 easy steps? I’ve worked with countless patients, including my IT client, to treat their shoulder pain. Their shoulder impingement was resolved with chiropractic care and so can yours!
I’m gonna take you through 5 SIMPLE STEPS for EFFECTIVE SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT TREATMENT. There are no tricks or secrets, just effective chiropractic care essentials to help you get back to enjoying your activities PAIN-FREE.
Here’s your roadmap:
Understanding impingement of the shoulder
The Do’s and Don’ts of impingement of the shoulder
Stretches for impingement of the shoulder
Exercises for impingement of the shoulder
In just 5 easy steps!
Let’s get started!
What Is Shoulder Impingement, and Why Does it Matter?
Shoulder impingement is a common cause of shoulder pain. It can happen when the tendons of your shoulder joint, also known as your rotator cuff, becomes compressed, irritated, and painful.
Shoulder Impingement Anatomy
If you play sports that involve forceful and repetitive overhead movements:
Or, in an occupation that involves heavy lifting:
- Construction workers
- Warehouse workers
you may be at a higher risk of suffering from impingement of the shoulder.
You may be like my 38-year-old client in IT working from home for the last 6 months. Unable to understand why you’re experiencing shoulder pain without injury.
It’s simple. When you sit with your shoulders forward for a long time, you create less space for your tendons. Over time they become pinched as muscles get tighter and the space gets smaller. Eventually leading to pain.
How can you fix shoulder impingement? With chiropractic!
What.. Chiropractors can treat shoulder pain?
Chiropractic care can be a great option for your painful shoulder.
Let me show you how…
STEP 1: AVOID AGGRAVATING ACTIVITIES
One of the worst things you can do is to continue with activities that are painful. If I can share one piece of advice with you, it’s to avoid or minimize activities that aggravate pain. Your body needs time to rest and heal from the wear and tear created by every day activities.
Movement such as:
- sleeping on the shoulder
can continually pinch or compress your shoulder tendons and prolong your injury. Listen to your body. If it hurts to reach for your dish on the top shelf or push that lawnmower, stop.
Place your frequently used items in close reach and get some help with tasks that you can’t do without having your shoulder pain flare up.
Alternate sleeping positions. Sleep on your unaffected side or back to give your shoulder a break and avoid pinching overnight.
STEP 2: ICE
Ice is a natural anti-inflammatory. When it comes to shoulder impingement syndrome, there will be some inflammation contributing to your pain. Putting an ice pack helps to reduce inflammation and pain.
Follow the 10/10/10 protocol when icing:
- Put the ice on for 10 minutes then take a 10 minute break
- Put the ice on for another 10 minutes and take another 10 minute break
- Apply another 10 minutes of ice
I love giving patients the most bang for their buck, and this method of icing definitely delivers the most effective way to reduce inflammation without freezing your skin. You’re welcome!
STEP 3: MOBILIZE
Chiropractors have a saying, “motion is lotion”. This means that your joints love to move and stay healthy when they keep moving. Your shoulder being like any other joint is happier when it moves than when it stays still.
Some simple mobilization techniques you can use include:
Pendulum: bending forward and swinging your arm like a pendulum.
Shoulder Circles: Move your shoulders in big circles throughout the day
Wall Angels: lean back on a wall with your elbows remaining bent about 45 degrees with the back of your hands sliding up and down on the wall, much like you did snow angels when you were a child.
Wall Angel Exercise: Start Position
Wall Angel Exercise: End Position
STEP 4: STRETCH
Tight muscles can be much to blame for your impingement syndrome and a small stretch can go a long way.
Shoulder Impingement Muscles
Start with your pectoral muscles in the front. Move onto the muscles in the back of your shoulder (infraspinatus, teres) and along the side (latissimus) and then the top (supraspinatus and upper trapezius). Hold stretches for 90 seconds or as tolerated.
You need to give your muscles enough time to relax and let go in order for them to effectively stretch out. So, don’t be afraid to hold your stretches longer than you’re used to. You might notice bigger improvements.
Benefits of Stretching
STEP 5: STRENGTHEN
Even the most conditioned athletes get impingement of the shoulder. How is that possible? The shoulder joint has multiple muscles that work to move your arm in pretty much any direction. It’s the balance in strength that keeps things not only moving well but in proper alignment.
Exercise for Shoulder Pain
For example, overworking your pecs can lead to awesomely big and strong pecs. But, your pecs now dominate and pull your shoulders forward creating less space for the tendons in the front of the shoulder leading to impingement syndrome.
Exercise for shoulder pain can be quite therapeutic. When performing exercises for impingement syndrome it’s important to strengthen the following muscles:
- Teres Major/Minor
An exercise band is a great option for strengthening and balance providing resistance in the concentric and eccentric direction. Eccentric training is an effective way to treat impingement of the shoulder and help prevent injury. Keep your pace slow and steady. The resistance should be at a level where you can perform the exercise with full range of motion without difficulty.
Now that you have the chiropractic care essentials to fix your nagging and painful shoulder impingement you’re well on your way to getting back to the sports and activities you enjoyed, PAIN-FREE!
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT EXERCISE GUIDE.
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Good luck and feel free to share your rehab journey with us. We’d love to hear from you and know how you’re doing.
Can a chiropractor help with a shoulder impingement?
Absolutely! Chiropractic of shoulder impingement is an effective option for your painful shoulder.
Chiropractors can provide shoulder pain treatment including:
Chiropractic adjustments to help with joint mobility and alignment
Soft tissue therapy to reduce tension in tight muscles and tendons
Provide pain control with tools such as acupuncture and modalities such as laser and electrotherapy
Provide prescription exercises for shoulder pain
Do chiropractors work on shoulders?
Absolutely! A common misconception is that chiropractors only treat the spine. In fact, chiropractors treat the entire body head to toe. Chiropractors treat all joints – spine and extremities down to the joints of your fingers and toes!
How do you fix a misaligned shoulder?
Start with improving your posture. Good postural alignment will help keep your shoulders aligned and happy.
Stretch out tight muscles. Tight neck and shoulder muscles are a common cause of shoulder impingement. They can pull your shoulder joint forward or even upward, causing misalignment and impingement.
Strengthen weak muscles. A lot of the time, imbalance or relative imbalances in your rotator cuff muscles can cause misalignments of your shoulder.
Chiropractic care. Seek the expertise from a chiropractor who can diagnose and treat misaligned shoulders and with adjustments and provide other forms of shoulder pain treatment. Early treatments are the key to a speedy recovery.