Dr. Tony discusses common shoulder injuries and treatment both at home and at Sandstone Chiropractic.
Hi guys. Dr. Tony here. Let’s talk about one of the most common causes of shoulder pain that we see in our office, and that is called impingement syndrome. Now, this is by far the most common thing that you are going to see with people. It is caused by sports. It requires overhead activities, what we see today in CrossFit, tennis, baseball. Even as we age and the shoulder becomes more arthritic this can cause an impingement as well. So, let me show you a little bit about the shoulder and tell you what impingement is.
Now, there typically are two things that are going to take place. Either the bursa which is a fluid-filled sac around the shoulder area which helps lubricate it or possibly even the tendon that is coming off the main rotator cuff muscle, one of those or maybe both will be inflamed for those reasons we discussed. Now, as this gets more inflamed you may see symptoms such as difficulty putting your arm over your head, reaching back behind the back, all of these will be signs if impingement is possibly there. Now, you have to be very careful with this because if you keep this impingement, this inflammation there it is eventually going to degrade the tendon and could eventually lead to a more major situation or condition called a rotator cuff tear which we will discuss in a later video.
Now, you are going to see that there are three really common therapies that you can use at home to help get relief for this. Now, one of the most sensible would be rest. You know, whatever activity seems to be bothering the shoulder go ahead and stay away from that for awhile. You have a second option of ice. Ice is a great anti-inflammatory, and once the inflammation goes down the pain will subside with that. Now, you can also choose to use over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and those do work, but remember you take a risk of stomach irritation and stomach upset so maybe that is not going to be the best idea for you. In addition, it doesn’t really do anything to help repair if the tendon has already started to fray or become somewhat disfigured.
Now, keep in mind that sometimes these are too out of control that ice and rest and these other things just aren’t going to help, or possibly an underlying condition, maybe the rotator cuff is already torn. This is where you are going to need to seek help. Now, in our office we are going to use in addition to proper diagnostic testing, we are going to use things like cold laser. Cold laser is the newest technology and most advanced technology in reducing inflammation. In fact, it will do it three to four times as fast in addition to helping the tissue repair. Now, we hear a lot about soft tissue techniques and there are a lot of them that are out there, but they are very painful. So, what we use is a high-frequency vibration tool called rapid release technology that will help allow this shoulder to relax, gain full mobility, and also do it in a very painless way unlike some of the other soft tissue techniques you may have heard of.
Now, let’s say for instance if you’re not responding to these types of therapies, which most of the people will, that is when we need to start discussing would an MRI be an appropriate action to look at the area to see if there is a tear or maybe some other underlying condition that is not showing up on a x-ray. Your doctors may prescribe cortisone injections. Now, the only thing about a cortisone injection, and they do work very well, is unlike the laser which helps rebuild the tissue the cortisone injection will help tear the tissue down over time especially with repeated use. So, it would be best to say well, let me do something to actually fix and repair the area versus doing something that is going to tear the tissue down.
Now guys, if this has gotten to the point where you are not sleeping at night, you are not enjoying activities that you would like to do, don’t waste any more time. Come in and let us get you back to the things that you enjoy doing.