Each year in primary care in the UK, about 1% of adults aged over 45 years present with a new episode of shoulder pain. It is estimated to affect between 26% and 32% of the population at any one time. The majority of these causes respond well to Chiropractic care.
It goes without saying, but neck pain is literally a debilitating ‘pain in the neck’. It is for this reason that Espina Chiropractic Clinic assess every case thoroughly and determine the exact cause of the discomfort to ensure your treatment plan is tailored to your condition.
Although felt in the neck, neck pain can be caused by various other spinal problems. It may simply be due to tightness of the muscles in the neck and upper back, or even pinching of the nerves at the level of the cervical spine. This nerve root irritation can also be due to a disc bulge or degenerative changes in the vertebrae of the neck. This is not to say that the cause may be more serious and as a consequence of joint dysfunction in the neck or upper back.
A common condition we treat as Chiropractors is neck pain as a consequence of whiplash. This is not always due to car accidents, but can also include falls from bikes, heights and most frequently horses.
Whiplash is one of those injuries that will frequently not show any immediate evidence of spinal injury on x-ray imaging. Further to this, the exact injury mechanism that causes whiplash injuries is still unknown. It is known to be as a result of forced extension of the neck, but the exact underlying cause of the pain is still a matter of research.
One of the reasons for this is that the mechanism of injury can differ in each case, depending on the strength of the neck structures and also the events of the collision or trauma. If the injury is to the muscles or ligaments of the neck then this would not get picked up on the x-ray.
Research has shown that during a road traffic collision involving a rear-end shunt, the neck curves in an abnormal S-shape which subsequently alters normal neck movement. Normally, the joints of the neck glide over each other under lubrication, but in the case of a whiplash injury the impact forces the joints together, damaging the surrounding area of nerves, muscles, ligaments and discs. The pain receptors of the neck then relay this information to the brain and this is where the ‘pain in the neck’ begins!
Shoulder pain is extremely common due to the complex but unstable nature of the shoulder joint. This instability makes it very susceptible to injury and lasting shoulder pain if inadequate treatment and rehabilitation are not started promptly.
Injuries which may be immediately obvious to you are those of shoulder dislocation or joint separation. However there are a vast number of additional problems we can encounter with the shoulder which your Chiropractor will discuss with you during the consultation. These conditions include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, rotator cuff tears and adhesive capsulitis to name a few.
Your treatment plan depends completely on the cause of the pain but will be discussed with you in detail. In most cases this will also involve rehabilitation exercises on top of the Chiropractic treatments to assist in the recovery of your shoulder.