I treat shoulder pain on a daily basis. Shoulder pain is common because it is at a greater risk for injury as a ball and socket joint. Shoulder problems can be very frustrating if not treated appropriately and quickly.
Shoulder problems can start out with no apparent injury or cause. Past injuries can also cause problems when they have not been properly treated or rehabilitated. Lately, many of the shoulder problems I encounter are due to poor posture and bad habits (i.e at computers, side sleepers without the correct size pillow for their shoulder width, etc.).
Shoulder problems are treated on a case by case basis in a variety of ways, depending on the nature of the injury. In most cases, I adjust the shoulder if it is not articulating properly in the joint. Since the neck is involved with the shoulder, I always check the relationship between the two to make sure they are working together properly. Stretching, massage, and strengthening are a must for the proper healing of the shoulder.
Some general recommendations are to sleep on your back. This decreases the impact on the shoulder until you can have a professional check for the right size pillow for you.
Strengthening the muscles of the upper and middle back is essential to prevent forward rolling or “rounding” of the shoulders. This is a common presentation when someone has a job with a lot of computer work. Seated rowing machine and lat pull downs are a great exercises if you have access to a gym.
Stretching of the pectoral, or “pecs”, is helpful. Lie face up on a foam roller with the foam roller running the length of the spine. Make sure that your head is supported by the foam roller. Put your arms up in the “goal post” postion to stretch the pec muscles. Hold this position for 30 seconds, twice a day, 2-3 times a week.
If you are suffering from shoulder pain, please call my office at 952-746-5612 for a FREE consult and exam when you mention this post. I’m also happy to check the proper sizing of your pillow and show you stretches tailored to your needs to address your current problems. Don’t just survive, THRIVE!
I look forward to taking great care of you!
Dr. Lynn Miller