Spinal Manipulation for Shoulder Pain
Many in the general public know of the benefits of spinal manipulation for neck or low back pain, but few are aware that spinal manipulation can be beneficial for extremity conditions. A good example of this is the shoulder.
The shoulder is an incredibly complex apparatus comprised of 3 joints and 2 articulations. The 3 joints are the acromioclavicular, sternoclavicular, and glenohumeral. The two articulations include the scapulothoracic and suprahumeral. Several muscles attach along these bones to move the shoulder through a wide range of movement. These muscles have attachments to the nearby ribs, upper back, and even neck structures, and make the entire region interdependent for optimal function.
If any joint dysfunction is occurring in any of the structures surrounding the shoulder, it can play an important role in the perpetuation of musculoskeletal pain. This can be manifested as pain/stiffness in the joint itself, or, just as commonly, may be evident in muscles that attach to the joint. Your physical therapist will do a thorough evaluation to decide how best to treat your specific issues.
Once an evaluation has been performed, your therapist will likely use a combination of treatment strategies to best rehab your shoulder. However, research has demonstrated that treatments directed at the joints surrounding the shoulder are an important part of an optimal approach. Make sure that your therapist is including hands-on interventions to these areas which may include spinal manipulation for shoulder pain.