Neck dysfunction and shoulder dysfunction are very frequently mislabeled by the patient. I’m going to use pictures for this one because it can be hard to imagine. Let me start by saying it’s all connected of course so there’s no black and white line, it could be one or the other or both. However, there’s always a point of origin with issues in the body. So, let’s start with an understanding of the anatomy. The origin of all neurological tissue is in the neck. Neck pain typically originates with inflammation in the muscles from strain, misalignment, or injury that has caused muscle injury or pressure on those nerves. The major common denominator with mechanics in the neck and the shoulder are the trapezius, levator scapulae, and omohyoid.
When tissue irritation or discomfort occurs in between the shoulder blades or the top of the shoulder the patient frequently labels it shoulder pain, when we know its related to neck dysfunction. Huge factors there are posture, strength, and alignment.
However, with shoulder issues you’re look at a primarily different set of muscles.
Here we see the front and back of the shoulder. The most common issues with shoulders are torn or strained rotator cuffs, bursitis, and bicep tendonitis. The “rotary cup” 😉 is on the back of the shoulder (right side of the image), the bicep on the front (left side of the image), and there are multiple bursa throughout that lubricate movement. There are 17 muscles attached to the scapula or shoulder blade that have no bony or joint attachment to the thorax. Dysfunction in the shoulder is critically impacted by the amount of muscle you have on the surrounding tissues, and the amount of strain placed on those supporting tendons. Asymmetrical strain like sleeping incorrectly, lifting weights with improper form or weight, or repetitive movement, are all culprits.
So why are we telling you this? Well, most people aren’t very aware of the way the body makes movement happen. Even fewer are aware the impact having appropriate muscle mass has on holding you in posture, preventing injury, and avoiding degeneration. Even range of motion issues aren’t obvious to people. This is where the “plus” comes in for us. While most chiropractors only work with joint mobility, we know the rehabilitation of movement and conditioning of the muscles that make that movement happen, are an imperative to your total health. Can you reach above your head? We want you to know you can avoid surgery, your ache or pain is fixable, and you can enjoy throwing a ball with your kids or giving them hugs without pain.