Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor

At Home Assessments: The Shoulder

The shoulder is a very important joint and, due to its tremendous range of motion, is utilized in many daily tasks we tend to take for granted.  By the time you hop in your car for the morning commute you’ve already used it to wash you hair (or your head ;)), get dressed, grab the coffee down from the cupboard and lug a child or your work bag around. With so many facets of your daily life hinging on it, you can see how imperative it is to keep the region healthy and strong.

Although it may have seemed to pop up overnight, shoulder pain is typically a by-product of years of overuse or repetitive strain (especially in the presence of a previous injury) with a common thread — decreased range of motion. When tissues in the shoulder joint aren’t able to adequately lengthen due to inflexibility, the joint becomes stiff and weak. Unfortunately, the number one cause of shoulder pain is often misdiagnosed and, because of that fact, often mistreated!

Adhesion, which acts like glue in the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint, is the ‘unknown’ underlying cause of shoulder pain! In the shoulder, adhesion is often diagnosed as rotator cuff or bicipital tendinitis, bursitis, impingement or just ‘inflammation.’ Adhesion, if left untreated, leads to degenerative changes in the joint leading to rotator cuff and/or labrum tears, and eventually early-onset arthritis. Many patients without resolution after physical therapy and injections can certainly bet that the treatments they received didn’t actually address their main problem — adhesion!

So, how do you know if you have adhesion? It’s pretty simple: can you bring your arms up to your head? Although it seems trivial,  limited shoulder motion in this plane has profound implications on your shoulder health and pain.

Stand upright with your arms to your side and head in neutral, preferably in front of a large mirror. Raise your arms out to your side making a big circle until your upper arms are touching your ear. Now turn 90 degrees and see if your shoulder is actually covering your ear and resist the urge to cheat by moving your head forward! If you can’t comfortably hold your arms next to your ears in head neutral for a bit, you have a limited test. You can’t have a healthy shoulder if you can’t do this simple, functional movement!

Getting rid of adhesion will restore range of motion in the shoulder, allowing the rotator cuff to heal and function in a normal capacity, without surgery! If left untreated, shoulder dysfunction can also lead to pain in other parts of the body including neck pain, elbow pain or even mid-back pain.

At Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine we specialize in finding and fixing adhesion. Dr. Hommer is the only certified Integrative Diagnosis™ provider in central Iowa for treating chronic muscle, nerve, and joint problems. If you are experiencing shoulder pain and want a long term solution call our office today (515) 963-1641 !