Dr. Tracy A. Norris is a Chiropractor (DC), Certified Chiropractic Extremity Practitioner (CCEP) and Certified in McKenzie Diagnosis and Therapy (Cert.MDT) who treats shoulder pain. At Wichita Pain Center, we serve patients in and around the Wichita Kansas area, with Chiropractic care and we teach our patients to treat their own pain. We encourage active patient participation in their care in restoring function and reducing pain by using learned self-management protocols and prescribed, specific exercises to affect and gain control over your own shoulder symptoms.
The shoulder is a mechanical joint with a ball and socket that is held together with ligaments and moved about by muscular "levers". Sudden and severe strains causing overload or compression on the shoulder ligaments, rotator cuff tendons and other soft tissues such as starting a lawn mower or falling onto the shoulder, elbow or hand can cause damage to these pain sensitive tissues.
To understand how easily some mechanical pains can be produced, try bending your finger backwards until you feel a strain. Initially there is only a minor discomfort which will go away quickly once you remove the tension, without any damage to the tissue. However, if the bent finger is left in this overstretched position or even pushed into further stress, pain will come about and if the stress is large enough, will eventually overstretch and tear. This tearing results in aching and even continues when the stress is removed. The pain increases with movements performed in the "stressed" direction and pain reduces when the joint is moved the opposite direction.
A common misconception about shoulder pain is that it is not usually caused by muscle strain. Muscles usually heal rapidly and seldom cause pain lasting for more than a week or two. The real problem is the shoulder joint and rotator cuff tendons which are easily injured with overstretching and overloading. These structures don't heal as well as muscle tissue and once these soft tissues are damaged, pain is felt until healing is complete and function is fully restored. The most common cause of shoulder pain is overloading or overstretching by postural stresses that place a severe strain on the shoulder over a long time, such as performing repeated work overhead or painting in extended positions over time.
There are two main structures that give rise to shoulder pain, the shoulder capsule and ligaments of the shoulder joint and surrounding rotator cuff tendons. Forceful lifting, pulling or a fall onto the shoulder can cause damage to these structures which causes pain.
Pain Sensitive Tissues
Chronic shoulder pain was once believed to be caused by chronic inflammation of the painful shoulder soft tissues. However, it is now understood that the solution for these pain sensitive structures is to remodel the tissue by gradually applying progressive forces with specific therapeutic exercise movements to restore normal flexibility and strengthen these tissues, or they may become a continuous source of shoulder pain.
It is surprising the number of surgeries that might be avoided if surgical candidates would have a mechanical shoulder evaluation by a Certified McKenzie Diagnosis & Therapy Practitioner. Many conditions are improperly diagnosed and underlying mechanical issues are not found because they were not looked for.
Our doctors can determine the cause of your shoulder pain and whether there are some simple,yet specific exercise movements that you can do at home to use for self-treatment. We will also provide you the tools you need to maintain and help prevent any future episodes of shoulder pain.
Results vary as each condition is unique. Not all painful shoulder conditions can be relieved or functionality be improved, regardless the type of treatment.