Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Don't know what to do for shoulder pain?

Hello again!

May is here and we have already had a few beach worthy days! The reason many of us live in New York is about to be upon us. There is no better place in the world when the weather is nice. Accessibility to one of the greatest cities in the world, beautiful beaches, and the wine country out east makes Long Island unparalleled in summer entertainment. Be smart and be safe when you take part in the festivities.

Of course sun block is the first thing you want to make sure you have. When the weather really starts getting warm I'll send out a posting regarding what type of sun block you should choose. Hint... 50 doesn't protect you much better than 15 and it could be toxic.

Exercise rates go up in the summer, but so do hospital visits. Don't fall into the "it's warm outside so I'm going to run 10 miles for the first time in 4 years" category. Ease into things.

Today's informative posting is in regards to the scope of practice of Chiropractic care. If you choose to read on you will surely learn something valuable for yourself, your co workers, your friends, and your family. If you don't have the time to read the full article right now, do it later, you'll be glad you did.


As everyone knows already, Chiropractic care is the best treatment out there for the resolution of issues like neck and low back pain, but there is a lot of other stuff out there that Chiropractic not only can help with, but does help every day here at Island Chiropractic.

Issues like headaches, hip pains, tingling fingers, and aching shoulders get treated here at Island Chiropractic every day. Today I want to discuss shoulder treatments with you for a few minutes.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. It has to be, think about all of the ways you use it. Your shoulder helps plant your flowers, grab a plate off the top shelf, throw a ball, raise your hand in class, write with a pen, open doors, eat dinner, even turn your head! The list goes on. Usually by the time someone presents to our office complaining of shoulder pain, they have already been through the ringer. General Practitioner to orthopedist to physical therapist to pain management back to orthopedist for surgical opinion back to pain management for shots back to physical therapy for stim and ice. It's a viscious cycle that costs a lot of time, money, and effort. Now, don't confuse what I'm saying to mean that orthopedists and physical therapists can't help shoulder, because they can. BUt let's go through their options for doing so:

Orthopedists - Orthopedists have three real options for treatment. They image first, then they decide if you are a surgical candidate, if you are not, they usually will give you a pain injection and pain meds to go home with until your problem disappears like magic. They also can refer you out to pain management or to physical therapy.

Physical Therapy - Physical therapy can be fantastic for injured shoulders when performed correctly. A half hour to an hour of rigorous exercises under strict supervision for form coupled with stim and heat or ice can really help a shoulder. There are also situations however when physical therapy is completely innefective. If your shoulder problem is brought on by scar tissue or adhesion in the muscular or other soft tissue structures of the shoulder, all of the exercise in the world won't fix your problem when done in the absence of soft tissue manipulation. It's like studying for hours for the wrong test. Grades don't usually reflect the work put in when you do that. Great physical therapy when coupled with great chiropractic is an extremely effective combination utilized here at Island Chiropractic and Next Step Physical Therapy,

So what can Chiropractic possibly do for the shoulder? Well, depending on the office you attend, chiropractic can be extremely beneficial. Here at Island Chiropractic, we utilize very specific soft tissue manipulation techniques to remove scar tissue or adhesion that you might not even be aware is present, without surgery, without medication, and without exercise... Until your body is ready for exercise. Visits take about 10 minutes after the initial evaluation is performed (initial visit takes about a half hour to 40 minutes and is on;y performed once) and the specific structures that need to be worked on are determined. Patients who undergo this type of treatment see immediate results. The take two and call me in the morning days are over. You will know immediately, and without any question, that the treatment performed has made a positive, permanent impact on your physiology.

Don't take my word for it though. I included here an excerpt from a news letter written by Eric Cressey. Cressey runs Cressey Performance in Bostom Mass. where he treats millions of dollars in pitching shoulders each year. From amateur to professional, this is the guy you go to in the boston area for shoulder work in pitchers and for rehab in non athletes.

"As you can probably imagine, given that I deal with a ton of baseball players – and the fact that I’ve written about shoulder pain a ton over the past decade – a lot of people initially come to Cressey Performance because their shoulder hurts... there are three initiatives that I think are the absolute most important places to start in just about every case...

First, I’m a huge advocate of soft tissue work with a skilled manual therapist. In our office, we have a massage therapist and chiropractor. Whether you’re a regular exerciser or not, tissues can get dense, nasty, and fibrotic, and integrating some hands-on work can dramatically reduce an individual’s symptoms and improve range-of-motion instantly. Understandably, not everyone has access to a qualified manual therapist all the time. <--- YOU DO! Dr. Sean is trained in Active Release Techniques and Integrative Diagnosis techniques!

The second area where you really can’t go wrong is incorporating thoracic spine mobilizations. The thoracic spine has direct interactions with the lumbar spine, rib cage, cervical spine, and scapulae; as a result, it has some very far-reaching effects. Unfortunately, most people are really stiff in this region – and that means they wind up with poor core and scapular stability, altered rib positioning (which impacts respiration), and cervical spine dysfunction. Fortunately, mobilizing this area can have some quick and profound benefits.

Last, but certainly not least, you can almost always work on forward head posture from the get-go with someone whose shoulder hurts. Additionally, working on cervical rotation is extremely valuable."

The above quotation was taken directly from the following website: <- click here if you are interested in full text.

Again, I am not minimizing the importance of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists. There are many situations in which they are the best course of treatment for a given injury. Fractures, surgical rehab, full muscle tears, and surgery are areas where the ortho/therapist team is tremendous. This posting is meant to inform you of the scope of chiropractic care.

For more interest in active release techniques or integrative diagnosis which Dr. Sean is trained in, see the following links.