Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Pain?

May 15, 2022

Chiropractor Help with Shoulder PainWe depend on our shoulders for so much movement and activity throughout the day, but you might not realize just how much until you suffer an injury or issue. Maybe you go to reach for something and feel a sharp pain, or you start to feel like your shoulders are growing stiffer and more uncomfortable after a long day. There are so many reasons why you might start to develop shoulder pain, and you want to address it before it develops into a bigger issue. When you think of a chiropractor, you might associate them with treating spine, neck, and back issues. However, a chiropractor can actually provide you with natural and effective shoulder pain treatment, too! Visit your Marietta chiropractor for shoulder pain and experience this all-natural and non-invasive approach to addressing your discomfort with long-lasting results.

Common Causes of Shoulder Pain

Common Causes of Shoulder PainIt helps to understand what is causing your shoulder pain. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint with three main bones: the humerus, clavicle, and scapula. The humerus refers to the long arm bone that has a rounded ball-like top that fits into the shoulder socket. The clavicle, commonly referred to as the collarbone, supports the shoulder and connects your arm with the rest of the body. The shoulder blade is known as the scapula and allows for all the motion and movement of the shoulder joint. Your shoulders also have cartilage separating and cushioning these bones and supportive tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments to help everything move effectively. Damage to one or more of these structures can lead to shoulder pain and issues with mobility. When you visit a doctor or chiropractor for shoulder pain, they will determine a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan that addresses the root cause of your pain. Here are three examples of the types of issues that can lead to shoulder pain:

Acute Shoulder Injuries

A sudden injury to your shoulder can cause pain and other symptoms. An acute shoulder injury may occur if you fall onto an outstretched arm as you try to brace or catch yourself. A direct impact or blow to the shoulder can also lead to an acute shoulder injury. Overstretching or overloading the shoulder joint can also cause a sudden injury. You may suffer an acute shoulder injury while playing sports or from a car accident. A slip and fall or sudden blow to the shoulder could cause a shoulder dislocation or damage to tendons like the rotator cuff. You may notice pain, swelling, and inflammation of the shoulder joint after a sudden injury. Certain shoulder injuries like a full dislocation or fracture may leave you unable to lift or move your arm.

Overuse Shoulder Injuries

Overuse injuries can cause pain and discomfort in the shoulder joint because this joint has the most range of motion in the whole body. You can move your arm up and around and in all different directions thanks to a healthy, functioning shoulder joint. However, stress and pressure on your shoulder from overuse or repetitive movements can lead to an injury. Irritation and inflammation of tendons is called tendonitis and one of the most common causes of shoulder pain. Tendonitis in the shoulder can affect the rotator cuff, which is made of thick, fibrous tendons that attach muscles to bones in your joint.


When cartilage in the joints becomes damaged, it can lead to arthritis. Shoulder arthritis can develop as the cartilage that supports the ball and socket starts to wear down, causing the bones to rub against one another. Arthritis in the shoulder can lead to pain and a reduced range of motion. The most common type of arthritis that affects the shoulder is known as osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis typically develops due to general wear and tear on the shoulder and is more prevalent in older-aged adults. Other types of shoulder arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disorder, and post-traumatic shoulder arthritis. Common symptoms of shoulder arthritis include pain in your shoulder even when you are not actively using the joint. Shoulder arthritis pain typically gets worse when you carry heavy objects or after you exercise. Arthritis in the shoulder can also cause stiffness and reduce your range of motion. You may also hear clicking or cracking sounds known as crepitus if you have shoulder arthritis.

Why See a Chiropractor for a Shoulder Injury?

Chiropractor for a Shoulder InjuryThe short answer to your question, “Can a chiropractor fix shoulder pain?” is yes! Chiropractic care includes working with the entire musculoskeletal system and nervous system, not just your neck and back. In fact, chiropractors have a great understanding of all the joints in the body and how an issue or injury can impact healthy functioning. If you are dealing with a shoulder injury, then here are three ways a chiropractor can help you.

Reduce Pain & Inflammation

Chiropractic care will focus on reducing your pain and immediate symptoms of a shoulder injury, along with developing a long-term plan for reducing pain and inflammation in the area. Inflammation is one way the body naturally responds to an injury, but too much inflammation in one area can actually make your pain worse. Your Marietta chiropractor will promote the body’s natural healing responses and encourage healthy blood flow and nutrients to the area to help reduce pain and inflammation. When the entire spine and skeletal system are properly aligned, blood flow is regulated and the entire body works together more effectively. This not only reduces inflammation, but it also minimizes pain and increases range of motion and mobility.

Resolve Joint Misalignments

A chiropractic shoulder adjustment can also help resolve misalignment in your affected shoulder that may be contributing to your pain and other symptoms. A sudden blow to the shoulder joint could lead to a misalignment of the clavicle, scapula, and humerus, which can make your pain and other symptoms worse. Chiropractors use adjustments to address any misalignments and help restore healthy functioning to the affected joint gently and effectively. Joint misalignments can also cause problems in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the surrounding areas, but joint alignment and adjustments can bring about healing to these areas.

Improve Range of Motion

Your chiropractor will also help improve range of motion that may have been impacted by a shoulder injury. A combination of joint adjustments and other techniques can help bring your shoulder back into alignment so you can regain any lost mobility. In addition to proper alignment of the shoulder, your Marietta chiropractor may use the Graston technique or ultrasound to promote healing and break up any scar tissue that could impede a healthy range of motion.

Chiropractic for Shoulder Pain & Arthritis

You don’t have to let shoulder pain and arthritis ruin your quality of life! Your Marietta chiropractor can work with you to address shoulder pain and help manage the symptoms and progression of arthritis in your shoulders. If you notice pain with or without shoulder activity and an increasingly limited range of motion in your shoulder, then talk to your chiropractor about the benefits of chiropractic for shoulder pain and arthritis.

Relieve Pain & Tenderness

Arthritis and shoulder pain treatment with a chiropractor will help relieve your pain and address tenderness caused by swelling in the joint. You may notice your shoulder is tender and even warm to the touch. These can be signs of swelling of the joints caused by arthritis. Your chiropractor will assess how swelling and stiffness in the shoulder joint are contributing to your pain and discomfort.

Reduce Clicking and Grinding

If you have shoulder arthritis, then you may also experience a clicking or grinding sound and sensation when you move your shoulder in certain ways. A chiropractor can help reduce the effects of crepitus on the shoulder joint by restoring healthy alignment to the shoulder joint. Chiropractic adjustments to the shoulder will help properly align all the bones and tissues that make up your joint so it can function more effectively.

Increase Joint Mobility

Your chiropractor may also walk you through stretches and exercises to help improve your joint mobility. Shoulder arthritis can reduce your range of motion, making certain movements like reaching overhead more painful or limiting. Strengthening the muscles that support your shoulder can help decrease the pressure on the joint and increase mobility. Your Marietta chiropractor will help you restore a healthy range of motion to your shoulder affected by arthritis so you can get back to activities you enjoy.

Visit AICA Orthopedics in Marietta to learn more about how you can benefit from chiropractic care for shoulder pain. Our team of chiropractors works alongside orthopedic doctors, neurologists, and physical therapists to provide you with comprehensive treatment and care. We offer in-house diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays and CT scans so you can visit your chiropractor and get any necessary scans all in one convenient office visit. You can schedule an appointment with a chiropractor for a shoulder adjustment to get on your way to healing and pain-free living. Speak with your Marietta chiropractor today and get started on lasting relief for shoulder pain.