Shoulder pain is one of the most common conditions people tell us that they do not know what caused it. Sometimes they did suffer a fall or shoulder injury. But more often it just came on for no reason that they can remember. So here are a few self-tests to help you figure out just what may be causing that pain in your shoulder.

If you have shoulder pain try this simple 3 part test.

First put your hand right where you most feel your shoulder pain. Be sure not to slip and slide around. Just put your hand at one spot where you feel your pain most. Is your pain  on top of your shoulder not far from the base of your neck? Then that is one vote for your neck contributing to the pain.

Is your pain is off to the side on your upper arm? That is one vote for true shoulder pain coming from the shoulder joint.

Now move your head slowly through the full range of all six directions it can go. Look down all the way forward and then all the way up, then  back to neutral. Next turn your head all the way left and then all the way right then back to neutral.  Next bend your head to the right side as far as you can and then bend left.  If any of those motions brought out your ‘shoulder’ pain it is really a neck problem.

Now lift your arm from your side all the way up so that your arm touches the side of your head and ear. If you can lift it all the way up without any pain you do not have a shoulder problem and it is more likely a neck problem.

Can you have both a neck problem and a shoulder problem at the same time?

Yes you can.

Do you need a chiropractor for your neck and an orthopedic surgeon for your shoulder? No you don’t. Few shoulder problems require surgery unless you fell and broke or dislocated it very heavily.

Many people have unnecessary surgery on their shoulder when an MRI of their shoulder shows a ‘partial thickness tear’. For most people this is simply an incidental finding and not the real cause of their joint pain.

What is the real cause of most neck and shoulder pain?

Often, it is a combination of a joint that has lost part of its normal motion and muscle trigger point that refers pain into that area. These can be treated most effectively by good chiropractic care to restore the motion along with skilled chiropractic muscle trigger point therapy.

Do you have a shoulder, or neck problem or a combination causing some shoulder pain that you would like help with? Why suffer? Give us a call at 978-535-6155 to schedule a convenient visit.