Many different problems can arise over the course of time which can lead to the discomfort that brings people into a chiropractor’s office. A prime example of this are issues with your extremities, such as frozen shoulder.
At John G. Murray Chiropractic, we believe the health of the shoulder complex involves making sure that you have the proper relationship between your spine and your extremities.
When your body first developed in the womb, it didn’t develop from the tip of your hand in toward the spine. Rather, we develop from the spine and the brain outwards toward the hand. So when we approach any problem with an extremity, we always look to the spine first.
The shoulder for example, gets its direct innervation from the lower neck vertebrae and upper back vertebrae. So we have to make sure the lower cervicals and the upper thoracic have freedom of motion and are free from nerve interference. We also look carefully at the upper cervical area – this is the major circuit breaker for the body. If this is out of balance, energy will not be able to flow through the body.
Shoulder issues can also stem from pelvic instability, which can cause compensations that result in muscles performing roles that they are not usually involved with. And so it is a surprise to many people that shoulder issues can also evolve from the lower back. It is for this reason that in the chiropractic examination we look at you as a whole person, not just where you’re hurting.
The shoulder itself consists of four joints. Most people think of the shoulder as the ball-and-socket. But it is also where your collar bone meets you breast bone, where your collar bone meets your wing bone (known as the scapula), and it is also where your shoulder blade glides on your ribcage, which is called your scapulothoracic joint.
To better understand this, think of your shoulder like the suspension/strut system in your car – it is a linkage of interrelated joints controlling a range of motion. So, for example, with a condition like frozen shoulder, it’s not the ball-and-socket that’s involved, it’s the shoulder blade that’s that does not move properly. Again, this is why a chiropractor will examine you as a whole person and find the root cause of the symptom.
The shoulder is complicated. The price we pay for all its capability is a relative instability when compared with other joints in the body such as the hip, for instance, which is a deep bony socket. The shoulder by comparison is very shallow and relies on a lot of soft tissue for its mobility and movement. In turn, that soft tissue is more susceptible to injury and nerve interference.
So as we address your shoulder issues, we’re going to look at underlying nerve interfere, and joint function, but also get you doing exercises to strengthen your shoulder area. Especially rowing movement where we contract and squeeze our shoulder blades (which we often forget because we spend so much of our lives leaning forward).
So if you’re suffering from shoulder pain, you want to get balance in your spine, and for it to be free of nerve interference. That’s why we are going to start at your spine, and work towards the extremity.