Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Impingement?

chiropractor examining shoulder impingement issues

Shoulder impingement can be a real pain, both literally and metaphorically. It can limit your movements and your ability to perform daily tasks. But here’s the question: can a chiropractor help with shoulder impingement?

Yes, a chiropractor can help with shoulder impingement. They use specific techniques to relieve pain and improve mobility. They work on your joints and soft tissues to reduce inflammation. This can significantly ease your discomfort.

Let’s delve into how chiropractic care can serve as an alternative or supplementary treatment, potentially providing relief and improving mobility for shoulder pain.

What is Shoulder Impingement?

Shoulder impingement is a common shoulder condition. It happens when a shoulder muscle rubs against a part of the shoulder blade. This can cause pain and discomfort. Simple tasks like reaching overhead or behind can bring pain.

How Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Impingement?

Some people might also feel a reduced range of motion. Over time, this can result in weakness in the shoulder area. This condition often affects athletes or people with jobs that require repetitive arm movements.

Common causes of shoulder impingement include:

  • Age-related Degeneration
  • Poor Posture
  • Uneven Shoulders
  • Injuries or Accidents
  • Repetitive Arm Movements
  • Sports Activities
  • Occupational Hazards

Who Is at Risk?

Shoulder impingement can happen to anyone, but certain people may be at a higher risk.

These include:

  • Athletes
  • Construction Workers
  • Office Workers
  • People Over 40 Years of Age
  • People with Poor Posture

How to Test the Shoulder Impingement?

There are easy ways to test for shoulder impingement at home.

One test is the “Neer Test”. Here’s how:

  • Stand up straight.
  • Lift your sore arm straight in front of you.
  • Keep going until the arm is above your head.
  • Should this induce discomfort, it could indicate the presence of shoulder impingement.

Another test is the “Hawkins-Kennedy Test.” Here’s how:

  • Raise your sore arm in front of you to shoulder height.
  • Bend your elbow at a right angle.
  • Now, rotate your arm inward.
  • If you feel pain, you might have shoulder impingement.

Remember, these are just tests. If you have pain, see a shoulder impingement chiropractor.

Can A Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Impingement?

chiropractor helping patient with shoulder impingement

Yes, a chiropractor can help. They use their hands to treat you. They lessen your pain and help your shoulder move better. It’s like a gentle push on your shoulder.

They can also show you exercises. These exercises can make your shoulder stronger. You can do these exercises at home. They can help you get better faster. These treatments may ease your shoulder blade pain. They may also make your shoulder work better.

So, seeing a chiropractor can be a good choice. This can help if you have shoulder impingement.

When to See a Shoulder Impingement Chiropractor?

It’s best to see a shoulder impingement chiropractor if you experience any of the following:

  • Pain in the shoulder area, especially when reaching overhead or behind
  • Reduced range of motion in the shoulder
  • Weakness in the shoulder muscles
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks due to shoulder pain and mobility issues

If left untreated, shoulder impingement can worsen over time and may lead to other shoulder injuries. Seeking treatment early on can prevent further complications and improve overall shoulder health.

How Chiropractors Diagnose Shoulder Impingement?

Chiropractors use a variety of techniques and tools to diagnose shoulder impingement. These may include:

  • Physical Examination: The chiropractor will assess your range of motion, strength, and posture.
  • Medical History: You will be asked about any previous injuries or medical conditions that may contribute to your shoulder impingement.
  • X-rays: These can help identify any structural issues in the shoulder joint.
  • MRI or Ultrasound: These imaging tests can provide a more detailed view of the soft tissues and muscles in the shoulder.

Once diagnosed, the chiropractor will create an individualized treatment plan based on your specific needs and condition.

How Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Impingement?

shoulder impingement chiropractor helping patient

Chiropractors use several ways to treat shoulder impingement. Their extensive knowledge of bones and muscles is leveraged to assist people.

Here are the methods chiropractors employ:


This is a common technique. The chiropractor uses their hands. They apply a quick, controlled force to the joint. This can help to reduce pain. It can also improve the range of motion in the shoulder.

Soft Tissue Therapy

This is another method. The chiropractor works on the muscles and tendons. They use different types of massage. This can assist in alleviating inflammation and discomfort.

Therapeutic Exercises

Chiropractors can teach you exercises. These exercises can help to make your shoulder stronger. They can also improve flexibility. You can do these at home. This can speed up your recovery.

Posture Advice

Bad posture can hurt your shoulder. Chiropractors can show you how to stand and sit properly. This can help to reduce pain. It can also prevent future problems.

Lifestyle Advice

Chiropractors can give you tips. They can tell you how to avoid further injury. They might suggest changes at work or in sports.

Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM)

This is a special tool. The chiropractor uses it to find and treat problem areas. The tool can gently break down scar tissue. This can help to improve movement.

Electrical Stimulation

This uses a machine. The machine sends tiny electrical pulses. These pulses help to reduce pain and swelling.

Each individual is unique, and what may be effective for one person could potentially not work for another. Your chiropractor will evaluate your specific needs and create a personalized treatment plan to help alleviate any discomfort in your shoulder.

Why You Should Visit a Shoulder Impingement Chiropractor?

Visiting a shoulder impingement chiropractor can provide numerous benefits:


Chiropractors have specialized training in muscles and joints. They understand your body and how it works. They can identify the root causes of your shoulder pain.

Pain Relief

Chiropractic care is known for its effectiveness in pain reduction. If shoulder impingement is causing you discomfort, a chiropractor can offer treatments to reduce your pain.


The techniques used by chiropractors are non-surgical. They involve hands-on manipulation and other safe, non-invasive methods. This reduces the risk of complications and recovery time associated with surgical procedures.

Customized Treatment

Chiropractors devise bespoke treatment strategies based on individual requirements. They consider factors like your lifestyle, physical condition, and health history.

Preventative Care

Regular visits to a chiropractor can help prevent future shoulder problems. They can guide you on exercises, posture, and lifestyle changes to keep your shoulder healthy.

Improving Mobility

Shoulder impingement can limit your arm movements. Chiropractors can help improve your shoulder’s range of motion.

Better Quality of Life

With reduced pain and better mobility, you can return to your daily activities. You can enjoy sports, hobbies, and work without being hindered by shoulder pain.

Tips to Prevent Shoulder Impingement

Along with chiropractic care, certain exercises can help prevent shoulder impingement and keep your shoulders strong and healthy. Here are some exercises to help prevent shoulder impingement. Always remember to go slow and never force a move.

Pendulum Stretch

  • Stand and lean slightly, allowing the affected arm to hang down.
  • Rotate your arm in a compact loop.
  • Do about 10 revolutions in each direction once a day.

Doorway Stretch

  • Stand in an open doorway.
  • Hold the sides of the door with both hands at elbow height.
  • Tilt forward until your shoulders experience a sense of elongation.
  • Do this 10-20 times a day.

Side-Lying External Rotation

  • Lay on the unaffected side.
  • Bend the elbow of the affected arm to 90 degrees.
  • Hold a light dumbbell and slowly raise it towards the ceiling.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions each day.

High-to-Low Rows

  • Use a resistance band tied at a high point.
  • Kneel on one knee and lean forward.
  • Pull the band towards your body.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions each day.

Reverse Fly

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend slightly at the waist.
  • Hold a light weight in each hand, palms facing each other.
  • Hoist the weights laterally to the height of your shoulders.
  • Do 2 sets of 15 repetitions each day.

It’s good to consult with a shoulder impingement chiropractor before starting any new exercise program. They can verify the proper and safe execution of your exercises.


1. Can a Chiropractor Help with Shoulder Impingement?

Chiropractors are skilled in treating various muscle and joint issues, including shoulder impingement. They use non-invasive methods like adjustments and soft tissue therapies to ease pain and enhance shoulder function.

2. What Techniques Do Chiropractors Use for Shoulder Impingement?

Chiropractors use personalized techniques, such as spinal adjustments to improve posture, exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles, and manual therapies to reduce inflammation and enhance joint mobility.

3. Can Chiropractors Prescribe Medications for Shoulder Impingement?

Chiropractors cannot prescribe medications. Instead, they provide alternative treatments to lessen the reliance on prescription drugs. For medication concerns, it’s best to consult with a medical doctor.

4. How Much Does Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Impingement Cost?

The cost varies based on factors like location and the chiropractor’s experience. On average, expect to pay $100 to $150 per session in 2023. Health insurance may cover part of the costs, so check with your provider.

5. Are Chiropractic Treatments Safe for Shoulder Impingement?

Chiropractic treatments for shoulder impingement are safe when administered by a licensed chiropractor. They use natural methods without drugs or surgery, reducing the risk of adverse effects compared to other treatments.

Final Talk

A chiropractor can certainly assist with shoulder impingement. They employ non-invasive techniques and a personalized treatment plan to alleviate pain and restore mobility in your shoulder. Not only can they help you manage your current shoulder issues, but their guidance can also prevent future problems, allowing you to lead a pain-free, active lifestyle. Be sure to prioritize your shoulder health.

If you wish to learn more about chiropractic care and its associated costs, feel free to explore our other blog posts.

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