Do Chiropractors Work on Shoulders?

chiropractors work on shoulders of old man

Suppose you’re a vibrant, sports-loving individual, always up for an adrenaline-filled weekend. You suddenly feel a sharp shoulder pain while playing tennis on a sunny Saturday. The intensity freezes you in your tracks, leaving you wondering, Do chiropractors work on shoulders? 

You’ve heard about chiropractic care, but mostly in the context of back pain and spinal adjustment. However, the truth is that chiropractors do work on shoulders. 

Let us take you on a journey exploring how chiropractors work on shoulders, offering a new perspective on tackling your shoulder blade pain.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

Shoulder pain can have many causes. Sometimes, it is due to an injury. This could happen while playing a sport, lifting heavy objects, or even from a fall. Other times, it is a result of overuse. This can occur from doing the same motions over and over, like typing or painting.

Some common causes of shoulder pain are:

  • Injuries, like sprains or fractures
  • Overuse from repetitive motion
  • Conditions like arthritis or tendinitis
  • Poor posture over time
  • Straining the shoulder muscles from poor lifting technique

Aside from these physical causes, emotional stress and anxiety can also lead to shoulder pain. Stress often manifests in the body in different ways, and one of them is through muscle tension. This can result in aches and pains all over the body, including the shoulders.

Types of Shoulder Pain

female with pain in shoulder

Shoulder pain can be categorized into several types based on the cause and the symptoms. 

Here are the common types:

1. Rotator Cuff Pain

This occurs when the muscles and tendons that stabilize your shoulder joint, known as the rotator cuff, get injured. A torn rotator cuff includes a dull ache deep in the shoulder and disturbed sleep, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.

2. Frozen Shoulder

Also known as adhesive capsulitis, it’s characterized by stiffness and pain in your shoulder joint. Symptoms develop gradually, get worse over time, and can last up to three years.

3. Shoulder Impingement

In shoulder impingement, the blade exerts pressure on the soft tissues as you lift your arm. This causes pain when lifting the arm to the side.

4. Shoulder Instability

This is a chronic condition that causes loose joints. People with shoulder instability often experience a repeated dislocation of the shoulder.

5. Arthritis Shoulder Pain

Arthritis is a common cause of shoulder pain. Osteoarthritis, popularly called “wear and tear” arthritis, is the most prevalent variant of arthritis impacting the shoulder.

Do Chiropractors work on Shoulders?

chiropractor helping patient with shoulder pain

Yes, chiropractors do work on shoulders. They are trained to treat all joints, including shoulders. If you have shoulder pain, a chiropractor can help. They use special techniques to reduce pain and improve function. This can include adjustments, exercises, and advice.

Chiropractic care is a safe and natural way to treat shoulder problems. So, don’t worry if your shoulders are hurting. A chiropractor can provide the relief you need.

When to Consider Chiropractic Care for Shoulders?

Consider visiting a shoulder adjustment chiropractor if:

  • You have constant or recurring shoulder pain.
  • Shoulder pain disrupts your sleep.
  • Your shoulder movement is limited.
  • Daily tasks are hard due to shoulder discomfort.
  • Pain relief methods, like heat or painkillers, aren’t working.
  • You prefer drug-free treatments.

Remember, a chiropractor is trained to help with joint issues, including shoulder pain.

How Long will Treatment for my Shoulder Last?

Just like a road trip, the duration depends on factors. A minor strain may need only a few chiropractic sessions for a quick recovery, akin to a smooth drive. However, a serious injury, like a rotator cuff tear, is a longer journey, requiring weeks or months of regular chiropractic visits.

Patience is crucial.

Everyone’s path to recovery is unique. Stick to your treatment plan, trust your chiropractor, and with consistency, exercises, and appointments, you’ll soon arrive at your destination – a life free from pain!

How Do Chiropractors Work on Shoulders?

chiropractic technique for shoulder blade pain

Chiropractors offer a non-invasive and drug-free alternative to traditional medical treatments for shoulder problems. 

Here is how chiropractors may work on shoulders:

Cervical Spinal Manipulation

Misalignments in the neck can affect shoulder function. Chiropractors often perform cervical spinal manipulation to realign the neck vertebrae, improving nerve function and reducing muscle tension around the shoulder.

Soft Tissue Therapy

Muscle strains or soft tissue injuries around the shoulder can also contribute to pain and limited motion. Chiropractors may utilize soft tissue therapy techniques, involving deep tissue massage, to improve blood circulation and heal the affected muscles.

Articulatory Technique

Articulatory techniques involve gently moving the joint through its range of motion. For shoulders, this helps in maintaining or increasing flexibility and aids in breaking down scar tissue.

Myofascial Release

Focusing on the myofascial tissues surrounding the muscles, chiropractors employ this technique to release tension and tightness, thereby enhancing movement and reducing pain.

Direct Thrust Technique

This classic chiropractic approach involves applying a quick, direct force to the spine or extremity joints. It helps in realigning the shoulder joint and reducing pain caused by subluxations.

Functional Technique

A more gentle approach, the functional technique involves holding a joint at the point of resistance and waiting for the body to “unwind.” This can be particularly helpful for patients with tender shoulders.

Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Shoulder Issues

Chiropractic treatment offers several benefits for individuals dealing with shoulder problems. 

Here are some key advantages:

  • Pain Reduction: Chiropractic treatment often results in significant pain relief. It targets the source of pain, rather than just the symptoms, leading to effective and lasting relief.
  • Improved Mobility: Shoulder issues often limit movement. Chiropractic care can help restore flexibility and range of motion, making daily tasks easier.
  • Boosts Healing: Chiropractic treatment promotes natural healing. It encourages the body’s healing mechanisms to repair and restore the affected area.
  • Reduces Dependence on Medication: Chiropractic care often reduces the need for pain medication, as it addresses the root cause of the pain rather than just masking the symptoms.
  • Prevents Further Injuries: Regular adjustments and treatments can strengthen the shoulder, reducing the risk of future injuries.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: By alleviating pain and increasing mobility, chiropractic treatment can significantly improve your overall quality of life.

Case Study

Farhan, a 35-year-old software engineer, had been battling persistent shoulder pain for months. The pain started subtly but eventually became so severe that it interfered with his daily activities. Traditional methods like painkillers and rest provided only temporary relief.

In the quest for a long-term solution, Farhan decided to try chiropractic care. After a thorough evaluation, a chiropractic adjustment plan was designed for him. These involved gentle manipulations to correct misalignments in his shoulder joints.

Farhan attended regular chiropractic sessions for six weeks. He noted a significant reduction in pain levels after just a couple of sessions. By the end of the six weeks, not only had his pain levels drastically reduced, but he also regained the full range of motion in his shoulder.

Farhan continues to use chiropractic care to maintain his shoulder health, proving the effectiveness of this alternative treatment method for shoulder pain.

Tips to Prevent Shoulder Pain

While it’s impossible to prevent all instances of shoulder pain, there are steps you can take to protect your shoulders from injury and strain:

  • Exercise: Regularly engage in exercises designed to strengthen your shoulder muscles.
  • Posture: Ensure to keep your posture upright, particularly during long sitting sessions.
  • Rest: Allow your shoulders to rest between activities that involve heavy lifting or repetitive motion.
  • Warm-Up: Always warm up before participating in physical activities.
  • Lifting Technique: Use proper lifting techniques, keeping heavy objects close to your body.
  • Ergonomics: Optimize your work environment for ergonomic wellness to minimize stress on your shoulder.
  • Healthy Weight: Maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on your shoulders.


1. Is chiropractic care for shoulders safe?

Yes, chiropractic care is generally considered safe for treating shoulder problems. However, it’s essential to consult with a licensed and experienced chiropractor.

2. How many sessions of chiropractic treatment will I need for shoulder pain?

The number of sessions required varies depending on the severity and underlying cause of your shoulder pain. Some patients may require more sessions than others.

3. Can chiropractic care prevent surgery for shoulder injuries?

In some cases, chiropractic care may help prevent the need for surgery by addressing the root cause of the issue and promoting natural healing.

Bottom Line

Chiropractors do work on shoulders and can effectively reduce pain, improve mobility, and enhance the quality of life for those struggling with shoulder issues. They employ a variety of techniques, from spinal adjustments to soft tissue therapy, to address the root cause of the problem rather than merely treating the symptoms.

The journey of Farhan illustrates the transformative potential of chiropractic care for shoulder pain. If you’re experiencing shoulder discomfort or mobility challenges, consider exploring chiropractic treatment as a safe, natural, and effective solution. For more insights and wellness tips, don’t forget to read other blog posts on Chiropric.

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