Chiropractic Adjustment for Shoulder Pain

It is often believed that chiropractors can help only with pain and problems that are associated with the spine, like back pain or neck pain. However, the fact is any pain that is caused by some kind of inflammation or maladjusted bones can be reduced to a great extent with chiropractic treatment. Although in most cases, the chiropractors are skilled in or specialize in chiropractic treatments for toes, knees or hip joints, there are many chiropractors, who are skilled in chiropractic adjustments meant for shoulder pain.

About Shoulder Pain

Before you go deep into how this method can treat or at least reduce your shoulder pain, you need to know something about the shoulder pain – why does it occur, how you get it and its mechanism. The shoulder bones are surrounded by tendons, muscles, nerves and tissues and bursa or fluid filled sacks that help in the mobility of the shoulders. All these body parts have their own role in the body. While the ligament joins a bone with another bone, the tendons help the muscles to be attached to the surface of the bones. Cartilage and more ligaments make the joints stronger.

When there is a sudden pull, an accident or trauma, these ligaments, muscles or tendons may experience a tear that can cause pain in the shoulder. The most common causes of shoulder pain are –

  • Carrying heavy bags
  • Heavy backpacks or schoolbags on the shoulders of school going children
  • Poor sleeping posture
  • Holding electronic devices like tablets, kindles or mobile phones in the hands for long.
  • Shoulder pain is one of the most frequently reported cases for chiropractic treatment and this treatment method can almost always, treat all sorts of shoulder pain that are caused by inflammation.

Chiropractic Adjustment for Shoulder Pain

Chiropractic Adjustments for Shoulder Pain

Now that you have a better understanding of how the shoulder pain works, the mode of chiropractic treatment can be discussed. Although in most cases the cause of the shoulder pain lies somewhere around the shoulder or spine, a chiropractor will start by examining the entire musculo-skeletal system. However, the focus of examination will certainly be on the shoulders.

The chiropractor will examine, if the cause of the shoulder pain is a bone spur, arthritis or a problem with the elbows, hands, wrist and the shoulders working together. Often the problem is associated with muscles, tendons and ligaments that are either torn or sprained. MRI scans and X-ray tests help in the diagnosis.

Once the diagnosis has been done properly, the chiropractic treatment methods are as follows:

Chiropractic Adjustments to Treat Shoulder Pain:

The ligaments, tendons and muscles are supposed to provide protection to the shoulder joint. However, sometimes, due to excessive trauma or an accident, the shoulder joint can shift out of its alignment. In that case, the ligaments, tendons and muscles may experience a sprain or strain or tear and they will be pulled differently. This will cause muscle spasms, pain and inflammation in the shoulders.

In such a case, the chiropractor may perform a gentle adjustment for the shoulders to put the dislocated joints back into its position. He or she may do this either manually or with the help of some tools like a drop table piece, a speeder board or a reflex type hammer.

However, here it must also be mentioned that these chiropractic adjustments are given only to those patients, who are not candidates for shoulder surgery. These mild and gentle chiropractic adjustments can also be helpful in treating shoulder dislocations and pains caused by torn rotator cuffs as well as severe shoulder injuries. In that case, the chiropractor will work along with an orthopedist to manage the cases.

Posture Correction for Shoulder Pain:

In chiropractic treatment for shoulder pain, posture correction plays a very important role. In many cases, the cause of the pain is simply an incorrect posture in which the shoulder slouches down and inwards the chest. Jobs and recreational activities that engage a person to be seated for long hours, often leads to this postural syndrome. A good chiropractic treatment provider will also help with posture correction to eliminate the pain caused postural syndrome.

Exercises as a Guideline to Treat Shoulder Pain:

Often, the cause of shoulder pain is trauma from doing exercises without warming up the body joints. Therefore, chiropractic treatment provider guides the person about simple exercises that will help in preventing the chances of shoulder trauma and injuries while doing exercises. These would include simple and gentle arm swings from the shoulders on both directions. The chiropractor will also tell about the use of coloured bands of rubber tubes or Therabands that help in making the shoulder joint stronger.


Visiting the chiropractor will ensure that your shoulder pain is well treated through a strategic treatment plan. It must be mentioned here that there is no one-size-fits-all method for chiropractic treatment. Every method is customized as per the condition and symptoms of the patient. However, most of the shoulder pain cases that do not require surgery, can be treated by chiropractic adjustments.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 1, 2019

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