Shoulder pain affects 10% of the population at sometime during our lives.  In my chiropractic office, in Portland, OR, I see patients with a wide variety of shoulder pain.  Impingment, rotator cuff tears, labral tears, AC joint separation.  The list goes on!

Where does the shoulder pain come from?

Often, I will get a patient in my office with shoulder pain.  They will point to their shoulder on the front or side or back and tell me, “Doc, it hurts right here!”  Would you believe me if I told you the pain you are feeling is an effect and not a cause?

Newer research  has pointed to a common problem in people with shoulder pain.  Poor posture has a huge effect on shoulder pain.  When we sit with our shoulders rolled forward for long periods of time, our bodies tend to solidify into that new posture.  There is a muscle that attaches your chest to your shoulder blade.  Pectoralis minor.  It is the red muscle in the picture below.  When this muscle is short and tight, it will pull on the shoulder blade.  It pulls the shoulder blade to the front and down following the green arrow.  This causes the shoulder blade in the back to tilt.

Portland doctor for shoulder pain

Pec minor is highlighted in red. The green arrow shows the direction of the pull.

Ball or socket?

When the pectoralis minor pulls the shoulder blade down and forward the shoulder blade is misaligned.  Your shoulder is a ball and socket type joint.  Until recently, many doctors thought that if there was a misalignment of the shoulder, we should look to the “ball”.  New research has proven that to be wrong.  We now focus on the socket!  Your shoulder blade is the secret!

shoulder xray

The green outlines the humerus (ball) and the red outlines the scapula (socket). If they were misaligned would you think to the ball or the socket?

The Good News

This new research is great news for people suffering with shoulder pain.  A simple adjustment to the shoulder blade itself, as well as the joints of the shoulder complex, can relieve much of the pain people experience daily.  Frozen shoulder syndrome can be a distant memory after a simple scapular adjustment.

Dr. Chris Cooper, DC is trained in shoulder manipulations and adjusting.  He has spent countless hours in post-graduate continuing education to stay up to date on the latest shoulder treatments.  Dr. Cooper works as a chiropractor in Portland, OR.  He views the body as a complex biological machine and himself as a qualified mechanic to that machine.  If you have shoulder pain and would like to talk about it with Dr. Cooper please call our office located in inner SE Portland at (503) 257-1324.

shoulder pain model 2