Clinical Chiropractic: The Shoulder and Arm
We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.
This is Chapter 7 from RC’s best-selling book:
“Clinical Chiropractic: Upper Body Complaints”
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CHAPTER 7: THE SHOULDER AND ARMCLINICAL BRIEFING
Shoulder pain can be deceiving. As in so many musculoskeletal disorders, consideration of pain in the shoulder should not give priority to sudden trauma whether it be of intrinsic or extrinsic origin. Thorough investigation of the history may reveal that trauma did not initiate the first attack or that an injury was just a precipitating event that revealed an underlying degenerative disorder. Besides trauma, shoulder pain may have an inflammatory, a neurologic, a psychologic, a vascular, a metabolic, a neoplastic, a degenerative, a congenital, an autoimmune, or a toxic origin. See Table 7.1.
The Complexities in Treating Shoulder Complaints
Many practitioners would be happy if another patient with a shoulder complaint did not enter their offices. There are five major reasons for this:
- The shallow shoulder joint is highly unstable. Its stability is provided by muscles rather than the strong ligament straps provided in most other joints. This makes recurring disorders common. The answer is therapeutic exercise, but many patients soon get bored with such regimens and the prescribed exercises are stopped long before adequate strength is acquired. Thus thorough counseling and monitoring are required.